For the second time in as many days, the Checkers received bad news concerning a key player.
With Cam Ward out six to eight weeks with a knee injury suffered Sunday night
, the Checkers, barring any other roster changes, will be without All-Star goalie Justin Peters for the same amount of time. Peters is expected to join the Carolina Hurricanes, reuniting with old Checkers partner Dan Ellis for what will likely make up the remainder of the regular season.
The development comes one day after the Checkers announced
that they would be without Andreas Nodl for the remainder of the season and without Zac Dalpe for an unspecified but significant number of games. Both players suffered lower-body injuries in Norfolk on Friday.
Peters, one of the top goalies in the AHL this season, had started 16 of the Checkers' last 20 games dating back to Jan. 11, when Ellis and others joined Carolina at the end of the NHL lockout. He is second in the AHL with five shutouts, seventh with a .921 save percentage and ninth with a 2.29 goals-against average, making the promotion well-earned, even though it did not come under the most ideal circumstances.
“He’s proven that all year,” said Checkers coach Jeff Daniels of Peters’ readiness to contribute at the NHL level. “I’m sure they’ll be comfortable with him.”
Peters, who spent the entire 2010-11 season in the NHL as Ward’s backup, is 11-11-3 at the NHL level with a 3.23 goals-against average and .900 save percentage in 28 games played over the course of three seasons.
To fill out their roster for Monday’s game against Oklahoma City, the Checkers recalled Rob Madore
from the ECHL’s Florida Everblades. Madore, a 24-year-old rookie from the University of Vermont who signed an AHL deal with the Checkers this past summer, is 11-12-3 in 27 games with the Everblades and Evansville Icemen. During that time, he has recorded a 3.30 goals-against average and .900 save percentage.
Madore will become the ninth player in the Checkers’ lineup who started the season in the ECHL. That group includes six forwards (Matt Beca, Matt Marquardt, Luke Pither, David Rutherford, Justin Shugg and Brody Sutter), one defenseman (Bobby Raymond) and both goaltenders.
For Monday’s rematch against Oklahoma City, Madore is expected to provide backup for John Muse, who has once again been thrust into starting duty for the Checkers. With Peters and Mike Murphy unavailable at the same time last season due to NHL recall and injury, respectively, Muse started 12 of 13 games between Jan. 24 and Feb. 25, playing admirably en route to season totals of a 10-3-2 record, a 1.81 goals-against average and a .941 save percentage.
In five AHL appearances this season, Muse is 3-1-0 with a 3.42 goals-against average and a .877 save percentage .