Hurricane Starr returns for Andersen injury

The Carolina Hurricanes are struggling with injuries in the season finale. Goalkeeper Frederik Andersen will be out for at least a week with a lower body injury. “That’s a big concern for us,” said coach Rod Brind’Amjour on Wednesday after training. “Goaltending is the most important thing, so we’re definitely worried.”

The goaltender suffered the injury in the third period of a 7-4 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. “Give me a week and we can talk more about that,” said the Carolina coach. “We have to give him time to see where he is.”

Andersen injured himself Saturday while stretching his left leg to make a save. He ranks fourth among NHL goalies in wins (35-14-3), second in goals-against average (2.17) behind New York Rangers’ Igor Shesterkin (2.05), and sixth in the save rate (92.2 percent) among goalkeepers who have played at least ten games.

Antti Raanta made 23 saves for the Hurricanes in the win against the Coyotes. Pyotr Kochetkov was called up by the American Hockey League on an emergency Sunday from Chicago and was the backup goaltender.

The Hurricanes (49-20-8) are tied with the New York Rangers for first place in the Metropolitan Division. “We’re still playing for something,” Brind’Amour said. “I think we’ll see how we do that with the goalkeepers every day. They don’t want to get rusty and keep their rhythm.”

Jordan Staal, who missed Monday’s 5-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes, is expected to return on Thursday when the Hurricanes host the Winnipeg Jets. The forward picked up an injury after scoring two goals against Colorado.

Striker Jesperi Kotkaniemi will miss his second game in a row. “I don’t think it’s anything serious but it’s related to the injury he had before,” said Brind’Amour. “He’s not at 100 percent, so there’s no reason to throw him in.”