Carolina Hurricanes center Jordan Staal is expected to miss 3-4 months after breaking a bone in his right leg during an exhibition game.

General manager Ron Francis said Thursday that Staal will have surgery Friday on his fractured fibula.

Staal was hurt on what appeared to be an innocent play with 6:35 left in the third period of a 2-0 loss at Buffalo on Tuesday night. He was skating up the right boards inside the Sabres zone when he was checked into the boards by defenseman Josh Gorges.

Staal immediately fell to the ice and was unable to put any weight on the leg as he left the rink.

The younger brother of captain Eric Staal had not missed a game for the Hurricanes since they acquired him in 2012.