Ward to start; Semin, Skinner out

calexander@newsobserver.comNovember 18, 2013 

Cam Ward will be back in net for the Canes, but injured forwards Alexander Semin and Jeff Skinner will not play Monday against the Boston Bruins.

Ward, who was activated Monday off injured reserve, suffered a lower-body injury Oct. 24 in a road game against the Minnesota Wild. Justin Peters has started the past 10 games in net for the Canes, with Mike Murphy serving as the backup. Murphy was reassigned Monday to the Charlotte Checkers (AHL.)

"Cam's ready to go, so it's great news," Canes coach Kirk Muller said. "It's a great opportunity for him."

Semin suffered an upper-body injury Saturday against the St. Louis Blues. Muller said he was being further evaluated Monday and that the team was awaiting the results.

Semin had his head down when took a hard shoulder hit from Alex Pietrangelo of the Blues. Asked Monday if it had been determined if Semin's injury was concussion-related, Muller said, "Not yet. Upper body."

Skinner participated in the morning skate Monday and was on the third line with Riley Nash and Chris Terry. He has missed the past 10 games with an upper-body injury.

"Obviously we've got some guys missing who could make us a stronger team," Muller said. "But until they get back we've got to have the attitude we can win every night. He's getting closer."

Forward Radek Dvorak, out the past two games with a lower-body injury, will rejoin the lineup. He was on a line with Manny Malhotra and Jiri Tlusty at the skate, but the lines should be tweaked with Skinner not available.

Defenseman Mike Komisarek again will be in the lineup and will be used at forward, Muller said.

Injured goalie Anton Khudobin and forward Kevin Westgarth took the ice for some work before the morning skate.

Unless there's a game-time change, the Canes will have Eric Staal centering Drayson Bowman and Tuomo Ruutu and Jordan Staal centering Nathan Gerbe and Pat Dwyer on the top two lines. Bowman has a goal and assist in his past four games and had six shots Friday against the Anaheim Ducks.

"I won't change my game, just keep going," Bowman said Monday of being on Eric Staal’s line. "I'll just try to use my speed and open a few things up for them. Hopefully we can have some success."

Bowman said he was been feeling good and skating hard the past few games. The coaches have asked him to be more assertive and he has been.

"I've stopped thinking about it so much. Just go out and play," Bowman said. "It's been working the past four or five games. I'm just having a little more fun and feeling looser. It's been good."

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