For the past eight games, the Hurricanes blue line has missed Brett Pesce. Pesce suffered a lower-body injury in Carolina’s Oct. 19 loss to Seattle, but managed to finish the contest and record 19:37 of ice time.
According to Rod Brind’Amour, Pesce could return in Friday’s contest against Florida and bring even more talent to the Hurricanes defense.
“We’re hoping that he’s gonna be a game-time decision,” said Brind’Amour. “We’re right around the corner if not, but hopefully he’ll get in there.”
Over five games, Pesce has recorded a goal and assist with a +/- rating of plus-3.
He shed his yellow non-contact jersey in practice earlier this week and it seems likely he will return at some point on the quick two game road trip against Florida and Tampa Bay.
During Thursday’s practice before the team traveled to the Sunshine State, Pesce took his place alongside Brady Skjei on the top defensive pairing.
When he hits the ice, Carolina’s blue line will likely return to their original pairings, but Rod Brind’Amour will have to decide on how many defensemen he will carry moving forward.
While eight games may seem like a fraction of the season, missing time has been an adjustment for Pesce, who is used to being in the lineup.
“I played all 82 games last year, so you kind of forget how brutal it is to be hurt and to not be around the fellas,” said Pesce when speaking to team reporter Walt Ruff. “It’s tough. You want to go to battle with them every night.”
It seems as if Pesce will be able to just that at some point on the two game road trip, as the Hurricanes look to extend their winning streak to three games on Friday when they square off against the Panthers for the first time since last season’s Eastern Conference Finals.
Puck drop is set for 7:00pm in Sunrise.