February 22, 2012 4:16 PM
Mike Murphy is headed back to the NHL, at least for one more day.
Facing lingering uncertainty as to the injury status of starting goalie Cam Ward, the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday recalled the Checkers’ Murphy for the second time in three days. Murphy is expected to back up former Checkers teammate Justin Peters for the Canes’ home game against Anaheim on Thursday.
Depending on Ward, who coach Kirk Muller considered day-to-day as of Wednesday morning’s practice, Murphy’s recall could again be quick. In his second career NHL stint earlier in the week, Murphy provided backup for one game before heading back to Charlotte the following day. After Thursday’s game, the Hurricanes next host the Florida Panthers on Saturday.
That means that Murphy, whose first full on-ice practice since suffering an injury of his own on Jan. 24 didn’t come until Wednesday morning, is not guaranteed to miss any time with the Checkers. Charlotte hosts the Oklahoma City Barons for back-to-back games starting Friday, with John Muse the only goaltender currently on the roster.
Regardless of what happens with Ward, the revolving door of goaltenders should close soon. On Wednesday, Brian Boucher practiced with the Hurricanes for the first time since suffering an injury in December and could return next week, according to Muller.
Murphy has dressed for five NHL games this season, stopping all nine shots he faced over two separate relief appearances in December. Peters, who was the reigning AHL Goalie of the Month when the Hurricanes recalled him to replace Boucher in December, earned his first NHL shutout on Monday and is now 2-3-0 with a 2.80 goals-against average and .921 save percentage with Carolina this season.