Jeff Skinner was not at Carolina Hurricanes practice Monday, and Canes coach Bill Peters was not sure about the forward’s availability for Tuesday’s game in Detroit.
Skinner did not appear to be injured Saturday during the Canes’ 6-3 road loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. He was involved in a late scrap with the Flyers’ Wayne Simmonds in front of the benches as each was sent off with roughing penalties.
Peters said Skinner, who was working out Monday in the PNC Arena weight room after practice, was not concussed but that the team was waiting on the results of medical testing. He said Skinner’s status was “day to day” and that he would make the one-game swing to Detroit.
“I think he’s OK,” Peters said.
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Skinner, who has two goals and four assists in the first five games, is tied with Lee Stempniak for the team scoring lead.
The Canes have played five straight road games to begin the season but did return to Raleigh after Saturday’s game and practiced Monday at PNC Arena.
The Canes (1-2-2) led the Flyers 2-0 early in the second period Saturday but Peters said he believed his team “ran out of gas” in the period.
“We started to look like a tired team,” he said. “It felt like it on the bench. It felt like we were second to everything. We were second to all the loose pucks and we played that way the rest of the night.”
In assessing the first five games, Peters said the Canes are giving up too many goals but didn’t point a finger at goalies Cam Ward and Eddie Lack, who was in net against the Flyers. He said the Canes’ five-man play needed to be better, helping out the goalies.
“We knew we had more skill. Now we have to make sure our work ethic is where it was last year,” he said. “We had a very hard-working team last year. We’ve got to get back to that.”
With Skinner out, Andrej Nestraysil was on the left side on the Victor Rask line opposite Stempniak in practice. The other lines had Jordan Staal centering Joakim Nordstrom and Sebastian Aho, Elias Lindholm with Phil Di Giuseppe and Teuvo Teravainen, and Jay McClement with Bryan Bickell and Viktor Stalberg.
Peters said a decision on a starting goaltender for the Wings game would be made later Monday afternoon, although Ward is expected to start.
“It was a good decision to come home after the Philly game,” Peters said. “We haven’t been home in a while. It’s good to see family and friends and then go out and finish these six games.”