Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Ryan Murphy has a lower-body injury and will miss three or four weeks, Canes coach Bill Peters said Friday.
Murphy’s injury is a setback for the former first-round pick, who signed a new contract extension in the offseason. But it keeps the door ajar for the defensemen still in camp fighting for a job and roster spot — Haydn Fleury, Roland McKeown and Trevor Carrick.
The Canes, who host the Washington Capitals on Friday in their final preseason game, will use the defensive pairings of Jaccob Slavin-Justin Faulk, Ron Hainsey-Brett Pesce and Noah Hanifin with McKeown.
Canes coach Bill Peters said McKeown played well Wednesday in the 3-2 shootout win over the Buffalo Sabres in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and has earned another game. McKeown scored the Canes’ first goal in the win.
“The guys who are in the lineup tonight have another good opportunity to make one lasting impression before the regular season,” Peters said.
The lines will have Jordan Staal at center with Joakim Nordstrom and Lee Stempniak, Victor Rask with Jeff Skinner and Phil Di Giuseppe, Elias Lindholm centering Teuvo Teravainen and Sebastian Aho, and Lucas Wallmark at center with Bryan Bickell and Viktor Stalberg.
Cam Ward will be the starting goalie in the Canes’ seventh and final preseason exhibition game.
Among those not playing Friday will be forwards Andrej Nestrasil and Jay McClement. Nestrasil suffered a broken vertebra in late February but has recovered, and Peters said, “I wouldn’t be too worried about Nesty.”
Peters said McClement has some “dental issues” but noted he also wanted to see Wallmark, 21-year-old Swede, in another game.