Trocheck, Foegele could return for Hurricanes against Lightning in Game 4

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Vincent Trocheck and Warren Foegele each could be available for the Carolina Hurricanes when they visit the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Second Round at Amalie Arena on Saturday (4 p.m. ET; USA, TVAS, SN).

“I think both those guys will try tomorrow and then we’ll see,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said Friday. “But (there’s) no new medical update or anything.”

The Lightning lead the best-of-7 series 2-1.

Trocheck sustained a lower-body injury when the center collided with Foegele, a forward, late in the second period of the Hurricanes’ 2-1 loss in Game 2 on Tuesday. Trocheck returned for the third period, but played one 16-second shift before leaving and did not return.

Trocheck, who did not play in Carolina’s 3-2 overtime win in Game 3 on Thursday, scored 43 points (17 goals, 26 assists) in 47 regular-season games, second on the Hurricanes to forward Sebastian Aho (57 points; 24 goals, 33 assists), and three points (two goals, one assist) in eight playoff games.

Foegele sustained an upper-body injury after he was hit by Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak with 2:20 remaining in the second period of Game 3. He returned to play two shifts in the third but left for good after getting sandwiched between Tampa Bay forwards Steven Stamkos and Blake Coleman four minutes into the period. Foegele scored 20 points (10 goals, 10 assists) in 53 regular-season games and two points (one goal, one assist) in nine playoff games. 

Carolina already was without forward Nino Niederreiter, who will miss his fourth straight game of this series with an upper-body injury sustained during practice May 29. Niederreiter scored 34 points (20 goals, 14 assists) in 56 regular-season games and one goal in six playoff games.

Brind’Amour said he would consider playing 11 forwards and seven defensemen, but he’s not a fan of the format. Center Jordan Staal, who has scored seven points (five goals, two assists) in nine playoff games, including the game-winning goal in Game 3, said the Hurricanes will keep relying on others to step up. 

“I think as a group, we always just want to play the same way,” he said. “The guys who have come in have played really well and have just been preparing as pros to step in and play well.”

“[Morgan] Geekie had a great game, he had a bunch of chances and we’re going to have other guys come in and out,” said Staal of the forward, who played in place of Trocheck and had three shots on goal in Game 3. “Playoffs, it’s an unfortunate part of it: You won’t get through a whole playoff run without injuries. It’s the depth our group has that hopefully gets us over the edge and gets us through these few injuries.”

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