All Michal Jordan can do is sit and wait, but he’s used to it.
With defenseman Justin Faulk out with a lower-body injury the past six games, Jordan has been in the Carolina Hurricanes’ lineup. When Faulk returns, he may again be a healthy extra.
Faulk went through the morning skate Tuesday and Canes coach Bill Peters said his availability for the Philadelphia Flyers game would be determined after the pregame warmup. That also was the case Sunday, when the Canes hosted the Tampa Bay Lightning and a late decision was made to again hold out Faulk.
Jordan went from Nov. 16 to Jan. 15 without playing for the Canes, a span of 27 games. That’s not what the defenseman envisioned when he was given a one-year NHL contract in June, not long after competing and playing well for the Czech Republic in the IIHF World Championship.
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“It was really tough and it wasn’t just the physical stuff like only working on the ice every day, skating, the practices,” Jordan said Tuesday. “More than that was the mental part. It’s really tough because you never know when you’re going to play.
“You can’t control that but you can be a good teammate and make sure you’re positive around the guys. That’s all you can do. And hope that chance will come earlier rather than later.”
Jordan played in five of nine games as Brett Pesce recovered from a foot injury before Faulk was injured in practice before the Feb. 12 Pittsburgh game. In the six games Faulk has missed, he has been paired with Noah Hanifin and has a plus-3 rating.
On Sunday, Jordan made his first goal and point of the season pretty memorable, swiftly circling the net to beat Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop with a wraparound stuff.
“I don’t think I’ve ever scored on a wraparound, to be honest,” he said, smiling. “Us D-men usually score from the blue line, or on a two-on-one or three-on-two. Hopefully that’s not the last wraparound I score on.”
— Peters did not make any line or D-pair changes from the Tampa Bay game, and said Cam Ward again would be the starting goalie.
If Faulk is out, the defensive pairings again will be Ron Hainsey-Jaccob Slavin, John-Michael Liles-Pesce and Jordan-Hanifin.
The lines had Eric Staal centering Kris Versteeg and Phil Di Giuseppe; Jordan Staal at center with Joakim Nordstrom and Andrej Nestrasil; Victor Rask centering Jeff Skinner and Elias Lindholm; and Jay McClement at center with Chris Terry and Riley Nash.
Lindholm, a first-round pick by Carolina in the 2013 draft, will be playing his 200th game with the Hurricanes.
“It will be an intense game tonight and an important game,” Peters said. “We’re excited about the opportunity to play somebody who is right there with us and we can create some separation with the proper result.”
The Canes (27-23-10) hold a one-point lead on the Flyers (26-21-11) in the chase for a wild-card playoff spot, but the Flyers have two games in hand.
— The Flyers have beaten the Canes three times this season and all were in overtime. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it’s the first time in franchise history the Flyers have three OT wins over a team in one season.
Jake Voracek had the OT winner on Nov. 14 after Wayne Simmonds tied the score with 3:09 left in regulation. Shayne Gostisbehere scored in overtime Nov. 23 and beat the Canes again in OT on Dec. 15.
Gostisbehere has a 15-game point streak after scoring the game-winner Sunday at Toronto, the first NHL D-man to do it since Chris Chelios in 1995-96. He has five goals and 13 assists in the streak and four of the goals have been game-winners.
Gostisbehere has set a record for longest point streak by an NHL rookie defenseman, breaking the 10-game streak by Barry Beck of Colorado in 1977-78.