Canes Now

Di Giuseppe back with Rask, Skinner

The Carolina Hurricanes' Phil Di Giuseppe (34) and the Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin (8) jostle for position in front of the Canes goalie Cam Ward (30) during the first period at PNC Arena in Raleigh.
The Carolina Hurricanes' Phil Di Giuseppe (34) and the Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin (8) jostle for position in front of the Canes goalie Cam Ward (30) during the first period at PNC Arena in Raleigh. cseward@newsobserver.com

Phil Di Giuseppe was back at practice Tuesday and will be back on a line with Victor Rask and Jeff Skinner, Canes coach Bill Peters says.

Di Giuseppe, 22, was recalled Monday from the Charlotte Checkers (AHL) after being reassigned Friday. The rookie forward has not been in the Canes’ lineup since suffering a concussion Jan. 2 against the Nashville Predators.

“He’s going in — going in right where he left,” Peters said. “We missed the element of speed. He’s got the pace. We want to play fast and he allows us to do that and makes that line quicker.”

Di Giuseppe, playing right wing on the Rask line, had three goals and five assists in 14 games after making his NHL debut Dec. 5 against the Montreal Canadiens. Skinner had 10 goals and four assists in the 14 games Di Giuseppe played, and Rask three goals and eight assists.

The other lines Tuesday had Eric Staal centering Kris Versteeg and Elias Lindholm, Jordan Staal centering Joakim Nordstorm and Andrej Nestrasil, and Jay McClement at center with Brad Malone and Nathan Gerbe.

Defenseman Ron Hainsey missed practice to have some dental work. Brett Pesce, who missed the past two games with a lower-body injury, was at practice.

The Canes, beaten 5-0 Saturday by the Pittsburgh Penguins, worked Tuesday on the forecheck and got in some specialty team work. Peters said the Canes would focus on neutral zone and defensive zone work Wednesday.

“It’s good to hit on all those little aspects of the game,” Peters said.

The Canes have a road game Thursday against the Toronto Maple Leafs, returning home Friday to face the New York Rangers.

Peters said the Canes “hit a wall” and “were not ourselves” against the Pens. Carolina was playing its fourth game in six days.

“They were ready to play and ready to go and we were not,” Jordan Staal said of the Pens. “It’s a learner for our young group. There wasn’t a whole lot of jump, from a lot of guys. We know we have to be better prepared for a game like that.”

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