Michael Leighton said today he's not sure if he will start in goal Saturday for the Philadelphia Flyers against the Canes. That's a decision he will leave to Flyers coach Peter Laviolette.
"I'm not sure but they told me to be ready," Leighton said. "It would definitely be exciting to play against them. I hope to play."
Leighton was placed on waivers, then re-entry waivers by the Canes after Cam Ward returned from his lacerated leg, an injury suffered Nov. 7. The Hurricanes opted to make Manny Legace, signed the day after Ward's injury, the No. 2 guy in net.
"I wish I had gotten a better chance when Cam got hurt," Leighton said.
The Flyers claimed Leighton Dec. 15, needing a backup for Brian Boucher after Ray Emery was lost with an abdominal injury. Boucher cut his ring finger Monday against the Florida Panthers, bringing Leighton into the game, and Leighton then started Wednesday night against Tampa Bay.
The result: Leighton, in his first start since Nov. 30, had 31 saves in the Flyers' 5-2 win over the Lightning. The Flyers ended a four-game losing streak and now are 3-7-1 since Laviolette was named coach Dec. 4.
Saturday's game at the RBC Center will offer any number of story lines: Laviolette's return to Raleigh, with former Hurricanes assistant coach Kevin McCarthy also behind the Flyers' bench. And, possibly, Leighton in goal.
"That definitely would be strange," Leighton said. "I know those guys so well."
Leighton once sat just a few feet away from Canes center Eric Staal in the Canes' RBC Center locker room. And Staal said it might seem slightly surreal if Leighton does start in net Saturday.
"If that's the case, we'll want to get on him and make it a real difficult evening for him," Staal said, smiling. "The biggest thing is we just need to win. That's all we need to look at."