He was sidelined by a groin problem during the preseason, but this apparently was a different injury. Mike Dunham will take over the starting job while Lehtonen, considered one of the NHL’s top goaltending prospects, recovers. More goalie changes: Cam Ward, a 21-year-old rookie who impressed the Carolina coaches with a shutout in his first exhibition start, will take over for the injured Martin Gerber tonight against Pittsburgh. Gerber, who came to the Hurricanes in a trade from the Mighty Ducks in June 2004, is day-to-day with a pulled muscle near his left hip. The injury forced Gerber to leave after the second period of a 5-2 loss to Tampa Bay on Wednesday, and Ward replaced him. Ward will get his first NHL start in the Hurricanes’ home opener against Mario Lemieux, Sidney Crosby and the Penguins. “I think obviously this is a great opportunity,” Ward said. “It’s an opportunity to make my first NHL start against one of the greatest players ever.” To give Ward a backup, Carolina put forward Ray Whitney on the injured list with a strained groin and called up goaltender Kevin Nastiuk from Lowell in the American Hockey League. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Toronto captain Mats Sundin could miss four to six weeks after breaking the lower orbital bone when he was hit in the face by a puck in the season opener, the Maple Leafs announced Thursday. Sundin lasted just seven minutes of the 4-3 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday. “It makes you sick,” said forward Darcy Tucker, who plays without a visor. “It’s obviously something that goes through your mind when you go home at night and you’re lying in bed.” Sundin, who was not at practice Thursday, has an unfortunate track record with face injuries, suffering both cuts and dental damage in past incidents. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 “Nobody envisions that serious things (will) happen to themselves and when they happen, everybody responds differently,” said Toronto coach Pat Quinn. “(Sundin’s) a strong brave guy.” Sundin’s teammates say that everyone will have to raise their games to replace him. “He’s our leader, our captain, our best player,” said Eric Lindros, who scored a goal in his first game as a Maple Leaf on Wednesday. Lehtonen on IR: The Atlanta Thrashers put 21-year-old goalie Kari Lehtonen on injured reserve after he hurt his groin in the season opener. Lehtonen, the second overall pick in the 2002 draft, was injured in the first period of the Thrashers’ 2-0 loss to Florida on Wednesday.