NASHVILLE -- Defenseman Brett Bellemore has a concussion and will miss the Canes' games Thursday against Nashville and Friday against the San Jose Sharks, Canes coach Kirk Muller said Thursday.
Forward Alexander Semin, however, could soon be returning after missing the past eight games with a concussion. Muller said Semin, injured Nov. 16 against St. Louis, had been skating in Raleigh and could join the team for a four-game road trip West that begins with Monday’s game in Vancouver.
Bellemore took a blindside hit from Washington Capitals forward Tom Wilson on Tuesday in the game in Washington. He returned to Raleigh on Wednesday for further evaluation but Muller indicated he could might be back soon.
"He was feeling pretty good yesterday," Muller said. "He had a stiff neck and everything but I don't see it being a long-term one."
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Ryan Murphy, a healthy scratch against the Caps, will go back into the lineup to replace Bellemore.
Muller said goaltender Justin Peters would make his second straight start. Peters had 26 saves in the 4-1 win one the Caps and will be making his first consecutive starts since his run off 11 straight starts while Cam Ward was out with a groin injury.
"He played well, so he'll go right back at 'er," Muller said.
The Predators (13-12-3) have lost their past three games, taking a shootout loss to Philadelphia. The Preds scored three goals in that stretch and were shut out 3-0 by the Edmonton Oilers.
"We need to give ourselves some wiggle room on the offensive side," Preds coach Barry Trotz said Thursday. "Our power play has gone dry the last little while.
"I always feel if we get three goals, we should win. If we get two goals, we should be talking about at least getting a point. In our situation we've been getting one goal and that's not much wiggle room."
Defenseman Shea Weber, who leads the Preds with seven goals, will not play against the Canes because of an eye injury. Weber has missed the past two games.
The Preds also have been without goalie Pekka Rinne, out since last October with a hip injury. But rookie Marek Mazanec was named the NHL's rookie of the month for November after going 5-4-1 with a 2.00 goals-against average, .932 save percentage and two shutouts.
Mazanec allowed three goals on 33 shots Tuesday in a 3-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks.
The Canes are 9-0-1 when allowing two of fewer goals in a game and 2-12-4 when giving up more than two.
"That's pretty much the NHL," Muller said. "There's no secrets. Grind it out, grind it out. You get the timely save, you get the goal at the right time, that's the difference between winning and losing."
Neither team had a morning skate Thursday. The Canes lines are expected to be Jeff Skinner-Eric Staal-Tuomo Ruutu, Jiri Tlusty-Jordan Staal-Pat Dwyer, Nathan Gerbe-Riley Nash-Elias Lindholm, and Drayson Bowman-Manny Malhotra-Radek Dvorak.