Carolina Hurricanes

Staal sidelined indefinitely with concussion

Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal suffered a concussion Sunday in a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers, general manager Ron Francis said Monday.

Staal will be sidelined indefinitely, Francis said. Staal was placed on injured reserve Monday and forward Phil Di Giuseppe recalled from the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League.

Staal appeared to be injured with 10:35 left in the first period, on a play behind the Panthers net. He collided with Panthers defenseman Jason Demers, who raised his stick while falling and inadvertently clipped Staal on the side and back of the neck with the blade.

Staal did not immediately leave the ice, finishing his shift. Taken to the locker room to follow the NHL concussion protocol, he did not return to the game.

Staal’s injury comes with the Canes (9-8-4) facing six of the next seven games on the road, including Tuesday’s game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Staal, among the NHL leaders in faceoffs, is the Canes’ best checking center and a key penalty killer who also is used on the power play.

The Canes did not practice Monday. Canes coach Bill Peters could shift Teuvo Teravainen or Elias Lindholm to center, and rookie forward Sebastian Aho also could be used in the middle until Staal returns.

Staal’s concussion is the second for the Canes in the past week. Goalie Eddie Lack was concussed last Monday in practice and placed on injured reserve, with goalie Michael Leighton recalled from the Checkers.

Staal missed 35 games in the 2014-15 season after suffering a broken right fibula in a preseason game. He played all 82 last season.

Chip Alexander: 919-829-8945, @ice_chip

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