Carolina Hurricanes reporter Walt Ruff writes that Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce has returned to team practice after missing the last two games with an illness. The 29-year-old hasn’t played since last Tuesday and is mired in a seven-game point drought in what has been a disappointing offensive season for the pending unrestricted free agent. Pesce has just three goals and four assists in 41 games after posting a career-high 30 points last season in 82 games. His defensive metrics are still fantastic as Pesce remains the Hurricanes’ best option for the difficult defensive matchups against elite competition.
Pesce could suit up tomorrow night when the Hurricanes travel to Dallas to take on the Stars in their first of three games on the road. Carolina currently sits second in the Metropolitan Division with a 30-16-5 record and has begun to pull away from the teams behind them as they are 7-3 in their last ten games.
In other Metropolitan notes:
- The New Jersey Devils have recalled goaltender Akira Schmid from the Utica Comets of the AHL. Schmid dressed in 15 games for the Devils earlier in the season but struggled to hold onto an NHL job with a 5-7-1 record, a 3.26 goals-against average and an .893 save percentage. Schmid will serve as the likely backup to Nico Daws while Vitek Vanecek is sidelined due to a lower-body injury. Schmid was assigned to the AHL a month ago and has struggled in 12 games going 3-5-4 with an .885 save percentage and a 3.58 goals-against average.
- The Philadelphia Flyers are dealing with a couple of minor injuries as defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and forward Tyson Foerster will be sidelined until at least the weekend. Ristolainen has an upper-body injury and Flyers GM Daniel Briere is hoping he will be back by the weekend. Foerster has a lower-body injury and Briere is also hoping he can play this weekend as well. Ristolainen has struggled this season and has just a goal and three assists in 31 games while Foerster has posted career highs with 10 goals and 11 assists in 52 games. The Flyers take on the Devils in the Stadium Series at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on Saturday night.