RALEIGH, N.C., Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Carolina Hurricanes center Rod Brind'Amour will be sidelined three months after undergoing right hand surgery on Wednesday.
Brind'Amour was placed on injured reserve Tuesday, one night after suffering the injury during a first-period faceoff against the St. Louis Blues.
He continued to play and scored a goal in the third period as the defending Eastern Conference champions were beaten, 5-3.
In his fourth season with Carolina, Brind'Amour, 32, leads the team in scoring with 13 goals and 23 assists in 48 games, but the Hurricanes have lost seven straight and are in fourth place in the Southeast Division with 42 points.
Last year, Brind'Amour helped fuel Carolina's upstart run to the Stanley Cup Finals, recording four goals and eight assists in 23 playoff games.
"This is just the way bad years go, you get bad breaks," said General Manager Jim Rutherford.
The veteran had missed just five games since being acquired from Philadelphia on Jan. 23, 2000. Brind'Amour also is a top penalty killer, and leads the team with 20 points on the power play this season.
"It's a blow, no question," said Coach Paul Maurice said. "You can't replace him with one individual."
"We can't hang our heads and sit here and sulk because he's gone," said defenseman Glen Wesley. "We've got to build off of this."