Center Eric Staal, who did not play after the second period of the Canes' 4-3 shootout victory Thursday night in San Jose because a lower-body injury, said he intends to be in the lineup Saturday against the Phoenix Coyotes.
Staal had a hamstring issue, with the muscle tightening as the game wore on. While he wanted to return to the game, he accepted the precautionary decision to hold him out and said it was the right thing to do.
"It should be good. I feel good," Staal said Friday. "It feels a lot better than it did yesterday which is a good sign.
"I got some rest and let it heal and today it feels a lot better. I'm pretty optimistic that there won't be any problems, strength-wise, and I'll feel good and be ready to go."
Staal has played in 307 consecutive games, the third-longest active streak in the NHL. He said he has not had any hamstring issues in the past.
"It's just one of those things where it got worse in the second period and they told me I couldn't play the third," he said. "But we got a huge win with a gritty effort."
Staal laughed, adding, "They were fine once they got rid of the dead weight."