A Carolina Hurricanes team already struggling to cope with an injury to star goaltender Cam Ward suffered another blow in a Thursday night loss to the New Jersey Devils, as goaltender Dan Ellis suffered a leg laceration and will now be sidelined at least a week. Ellis had been a solid performer for the team before Ward’s absence, winning three of his first five starts. Since then he has struggled and including last night’s game has lost four straight starts.
Ellis’ injury will give Justin Peters a chance to shine. Peters is 2-2-0 while splitting time with Ellis over the past two weeks. The Hurricanes will likely recall John Muse from the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL to serve as Peters’ backup. The original timetable for Ward’s MCL injury was six-to-eight weeks, which could keep him out for most of the rest of the season. As the Hurricanes try to fight their way back to the top of the Southeast Division, they now face a much tougher road with their current goaltending situation. Peters is capable of NHL duty, but it has been some time since he faced a workload like he is about to.
In 28 NHL appearances prior to this season, Peters has an 11-11-3 record with a 3.23 goals-against average. He has spent his entire career in the Carolina organization after being a second round pick of the Hurricanes in the 2004 draft. Ellis joins an injured list that includes Ward, defensemen Justin Faulk (MCL) and Joe Corvo (lower-body), as well as forward Chad LaRose (concussion). The Hurricanes are by no means out of the playoff hunt at this point, but their road to the postseason just got a lot harder.