NEW YORK -- Canes coach Paul Maurice said there would be line changes, and line changes there were today.
Eric Staal was at center with Alexei Ponikarovsky and Zach Boychuk at the Canes' practice at Chelsea Piers. No more Staal, Jeff Skinner and Chad LaRose.
With Jussi Jokinen ready to return to the lineup, Maurice has reunited Skinner and Tuomo Ruutu with Jokinen. The 'Finns & Skins' line is back together.
"To lose three games in a row, it's tough to sit and watch," Jokinen said. "You want to be out there and help the guys out. I hope we can get things going the other way tomorrow."
Brandon Sutter had LaRose and Jiri Tlusty on his wings, and the fourth line had Tim Brent at center with Zac Dalpe and Anthony Stewart. Pat Dwyer was ill and did not practice today, but Maurice said he expected Dwyer to be available for tomorrow's game against the Rangers.
Boychuk and Ponikarovsky were the wings on Ruutu's line Tuesday against the New Jersey Devils and was the Canes' most consistent, Maurice said.
Of giving Boychuk a chance to play with Staal, Maurice said, "Probably his best game for us last year was in New York on (Staal's) line. He had a heck of a first period the other night and then I thought that line and his game in New Jersey was in the top two or three performances up front in terms of what we're trying to do.
"With a young guy you've got to deliver something, you've got to show something first to get that opportunity and he'll get that opportunity. He's just playing one game and that's all he's got to focus on. He doesn't have to try to win the job for the season in 60 minutes of hockey. It's a good chance for him."
Needless to say, Boychuk, who began the season in Charlotte with the Checkers (AHL), is pretty pumped about the opportunity.
"I've been playing with Poni the last couple of games and we've had some chemistry," Boychuk said. "We spent a lot of time in the other team's end, so that's a positive. Then to add someone like Eric Staal, who's an amazing player. ...
"(Maurice) came up to me and said, 'Keep playing the same way, keep playing energetically.' I'm really looking forward to it."
Boychuk said he played with Staal and Erik Cole in last year's game at the Garden.
"I had a solid game and we won in overtime," he said. "It was good. I'm glad to be back. It doesn't usually happen for a callup to move up to that line so quickly, and I'll do everything I can to make an impression."
Maurice would not say which forward would be scratched if Dwyer plays. He also did not say which of the seven defensemen would be a healthy scratch for the Rangers.