Cam Ward has always said he likes a lot of work, likes to play a lot of games.
That’s a good thing for the Carolina Hurricanes, because Ward is getting just that with the Canes’ goaltending situation unsettled.
Ward will start Tuesday against the New Jersey Devils, making his 13th consecutive start and appearing in his 31st game. Daniel Altshuller, recalled Tuesday from the Charlotte Checkers (AHL), will be Ward’s backup after the announcement that goalie Eddie Lack again is suffering from concussion symptoms.
“He’s concussed, so you know how those go, right? Unpredictable,” Canes coach Bill Peters said after Tuesday’s morning skate.
Lack was placed on injured reserve Nov. 21 after suffering a concussion late in a practice session. He was out 14 games, then activated Dec. 21 and again was taking part in practices.
And then, Peters said, “Something happened in Pittsburgh.”
Peters didn’t elaborate but the Canes played the Penguins on Dec. 28, going through a morning skate that day.
Asked if he was uneasy about the goaltending, Peters said, “I’d like to solidify the backup spot but it’s out of our hands as far as (Lack’s) injury goes. But, no, (Ward) can play a lot. He’s in good shape, hasn’t faced a lot of rubber, hasn’t been under a ton of duress for the most part. He’s been good.”
— Injured defenseman Justin Faulk and forward Elias Lindholm were both on the ice Tuesday at PNC Arena but neither was to play against the Devils.
Faulk, who wore a no-contact jersey at Monday’s practice, was back in a normal D-man jersey Tuesday and went through the morning skate. He will miss his fourth game after suffering a lower-body injury Dec. 23 against Boston.
Lindholm, who skated on his own before the morning skate, sustained an upper-body injury Friday against the Chicago Blackhawks, missing the road game Saturday against Tampa Bay.
Both Faulk and Lindholm were playing some of their best hockey of the season before the injuries. Faulk had scored goals in four of five games and also had three assists before his injury, and Lindholm had goals in two straight games and four points in three games.
Peters said there was a chance Faulk could play later this week on the Canes’ two-game trip to St. Louis and Chicago. Lindholm, he said, could be at the Canes’ scheduled practice Wednesday.
— The Canes’ lines at the skate had Jordan Staal centering Brock McGinn and Joakim Nordstrom, Victor Rask at center with Jeff Skinner and Derek Ryan, Teuvo Teravainen centering Sebastian Aho and Lee Stempniak, and Jay McClement at center with Viktor Stalberg and Andrej Nestrasil.
The defensive pairings were Jaccob Slavin-Brett Pesce, Ron Hainsey-Ryan Murphy and Noah Hanifin-Matt Tennyson.
Teravainen missed Monday practice with an illness.
— The Devils are 15-16-7 after shutting out the Bruins 3-0 on Monday in Newark — Cory Schneider with 22 saves — in the first of a back-to-back set.
The Devils, drawing a lot of penalties of late, have had 34 power plays in the past six games including nine against the Washington Capitals on New Year’s Eve. Scoring power-play goals has been a problem. New Jersey is 3-for-34 in that span, going 0-9 against the Caps.
New Jersey is 5-3-0 against the Canes in the past eight games at PNC Arena, winning 4-1 on Nov. 6 as Michael Cammalleri had a hat trick.