February 21, 2012 9:37 AM
Mike Murphy’s second career NHL stint was quick, but there’s at least a chance he may have another coming in the near future.
After backing up former Checkers teammate Justin Peters in the Carolina Hurricanes’ 5-0 win over Washington on Monday, Murphy is now back in Charlotte following a Tuesday morning reassignment. Having not appeared in a game since suffering an injury on Jan. 24, Murphy is expected to take part when the Checkers resume practice on Wednesday.
Murphy, who has now suited up for his first five NHL games this season, earned the recall due to an injury suffered by Cam Ward on Saturday. The latest update on Ward came from Kirk Muller on Monday, with the Hurricanes coach suggesting he could be available for the team’s next game against Anaheim on Thursday.
If there continues to be uncertainty surrounding Ward – even prior to leaving Saturday’s game after the second period, he had missed a handful of practices – Murphy would again be the No. 1 choice to back up Peters. The Checkers are off until they begin a back-to-back set on Thursday, so even if he were to head back to the NHL, he would not necessarily miss an AHL contest.
Peters, who was the reigning AHL Goalie of the Month at the time of his recall to Carolina in mid-December, made 17 saves to earn his first NHL shutout against the Capitals. He has won two games over the last week, which is two more than any Hurricanes goaltender other than Ward could muster in a full calendar year prior.
The Checkers, who just completed their second consecutive weekend of playing three games in three days, will not have another on-ice practice until Wednesday.