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Samson, Sanguinetti reassigned to Checkers

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Forward Jiri Tlusty and defenseman Jaroslav Spacek will be back in the lineup Saturday for the Canes' road game against the Minnesota Wild.

Canes coach Kirk Muller also said Friday that goaltender Brian Boucher would be the starter against the Wild. Boucher has not played since suffering a serious groin injury Dec. 5.

Tlusty has been out three games with an upper-body injury and Spacek two games with a lower-body injury. But with their availability, the Canes on Friday reassigned forward Jerome Samson and defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti to the Charlotte Checkers (AHL).

Sanguinetti played the past two games in his first recall by the Hurricanes. He had 13:45 in ice time Thursday, had three shots and was plus-one in the Canes' 2-0 win over the St. Louis Blues.

Samson, a healthy scratch Thursday, concluded his third recall of the season. He played in 13 of 15 games since being called up Feb. 15 from the Checkers, with a goal and three assists.

Muller on Friday had Tlusty back on the line with Eric Staal and Tuomo Ruutu. Muller used Jeff Skinner on Staal's left wing against the Blues, and Skinner scored his 20th goal of the season.

Skinner is expected to rejoin Jussi Jokinen's line opposite Chad LaRose. Andreas Nodl, who was on Jokinen's line Thursday, may go back to Brandon Sutter's line opposite Pat Dwyer, although Muller could keep Drayson Bowman on Sutter's line. Muller had Anthony Stewart and Derek Joslin on Tim Brent's line at today's practice at Raleigh Center Ice.

"We just mix it around day by day," Muller said, smiling.

The defensive pairs Friday had Tim Gleason back with Bryan Allen, Spacek with Jamie McBain and Justin Faulk with Jay Harrison.

Muller said defenseman Joni Pitkanen, sidelined since early December as he recovers from a concussion and knee surgery, was skating well but is listed as day-to-day. Pitkanen went through today's practice but has had no contact work.

Ward had 40 saves against the Blues in notching his 20th career shutout and 200th careeer win. On starting Boucher against the Wild, Muller said, "It's like six in nine nights for us. He's a veteran and this is what we need him to step in and do.

"We're confident he can step in and get the job done. Tomorrow is a big game for him."






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About the blogger

A Raleigh native, Chip has worked at the N&O since 1979 and is the Canes beat writer. He can be reached at You can follow him on Twitter at @ice_chip.