Well-traveled goaltender Dan Ellis will carry a big workload for the Carolina Hurricanes while starter Cam Ward recovers from his serious knee injury. That opportunity will last from six to eight weeks.
But first things first: Ellis (3-2-0, 2.56 goals-against average, .923 save percentage) must recover from a nasty bout with the flu before he plays again. In the meantime, Justin Peters has arrived from the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL to assume the starting role.
Peters stopped 37 of 40 shots Tuesday as Carolina dispatched the hapless Buffalo Sabres 4-3. That was his first NHL victory since last season.
“It was definitely an exciting 24 hours for myself, coming up from Charlotte and then finding out this morning I was playing,” Peters told Carolina reporters after the game. “It feels really good to be able to step in and get a win for the team.”
And the team thanked him for that.
“He played great,” Eric Staal told reporters. “All the guys here are comfortable with Justin. He’s played some good games for us last year and over the years. We knew he was going to compete and battle. That’s what he does. He’s a fun guy to play in front of because he competes so hard.”
That performance made it easy for coach Kirk Muller to start Peters again.
“He had good energy the other night and had a good strong game,” Muller told the Raleigh News & Observer. “We thought we'd keep it rolling with him, so he's good to go.”