His conditioning stint with Charlotte now concluded, Justin Peters is returning to the Carolina Hurricanes.
Unable to play any more games with the Checkers within the 14-day window that started Feb. 20 and closes this Thursday, Peters went 3-1-1 with a 2.19 goals-against average and .929 save percentage in five starts. After going winless in his first two games, he won each of his last three on the Checkers’ road trip that concluded with a 3-2 victory over Norfolk on Tuesday.
Prior to Peters’ arrival, the Checkers had allowed three or more goals in nine consecutive games dating back to Feb. 1, posting a 4.22 goals-against average during that time. The two-time AHL All-Star was able to hold opponents to fewer than three goals in three of his five starts, allowing three apiece in the other two.
Due to eligibility constraints that coincide with the NHL’s trade deadline at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Peters will not be able to return to the Checkers this season, making it possible that he has played his last game for the club. The 27-year-old ranks second in the franchise’s all-time games played list for a goaltender with 71, trailing only Mike Murphy. Carolina’s second-round pick in 2004 is the Checkers' all-time leader (minimum 20 games played) with a 2.47 goals-against average, .917 save percentage and seven shutouts over parts of the last three seasons.
Peters’ departure leaves the Checkers with goalies Murphy and John Muse, neither of which have played since Murphy’s last start at Texas on Feb. 21. Muse, who suffered an injury in the game prior to that, has been practicing with the team but has not dressed for a game since Feb. 18.
After arriving in Charlotte in the wee hours of Wednesday, the Checkers return to practice on Thursday before departing on another four-game, week-long trip later that day.
- Written by Paul Branecky