TORONTO — One by one, the Canes rolled their lines today in the morning skate at the Air Canada Centre.
The first line, with Ray Whitney, Matt Cullen and Eric Staal. The second line. The third and fourth. Then, a "fifth" line.
That last line had Erik Cole, Chad LaRose and Sergei Samsonov on it. The injured forwards are along for the two-game road trip, and at least one may be able to play Thursday in Detroit against the Red Wings.
"It's a little unusual from most of our practices the last two months," Canes coach Paul Maurice said. "We had a lot of guys out there. The three guys that are here are getting closer, but it's pretty much the same lineup as our Ottawa roster."
Cole (upper-body injury) and LaRose (lower-body) have each missed 14 games while Samsonov (upper-body) has been sidelined for four.
With the Canes sticking to their lineup from the 4-1 win over the Senators, Jiri Tlusty will be able to play against the team that traded him to the Canes on Dec. 3. Tlusty was the Maple Leafs' first-round draft pick in 2006 but was dealt away for Carolina's first-round pick last year, forward Philippe Paradis.
"It's a part of hockey life," said Tlusty, who drew a lot of media attention today. "I was here when I was young in my career and it was a great experience. But it will be great to play against the Maple Leafs because Carolina gave me a chance and I'm just looking forward to it.
"I'm getting a chance to play and that's the biggest difference between here and Carolina. Every day for me is great because I'm in the NHL."
Tlusty was on a line today with Rod Brind'Amour and Pat Dwyer. Zach Boychuk and Jerome Samson were the fourth-line wingers with Stephane Yelle.
Cam Ward will again be in goal and making his 13th straight start.