After starting the season with a pair of home games, the Canes seem ready to get out of town for a couple of games.
It could shape up as an important mini-trip. The Canes (1-0-1) topped the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 Sunday in their first Metropolitan Division game, and now face the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals in two more divisional games.
"It's nice to go on the road off some strong games at home," Canes coach Kirk Muller said Monday. "We've been here for a while, so I think the guys are ready to head out and hit Pittsburgh and Washington. Two tough teams but we're just focused on one, and they're not giving up much right now."
The Pens ripped the Canes 8-3 in the final game last season. It was Jordan Staal's first game in Pittsburgh since the trade by the Pens to Carolina, and the center -- always popular with Pens fans -- was given a standing ovation early in the game.
Staal, with a smile, said he doesn't expect that to happen again. Neither does Muller.
"The honeymoon is over," Muller joked.
"I'd say it will be a little different feel," Staal said. "Last time it was the last game of the season and we weren't in the position we wanted to be. This time we're heading there to get two points."
Cam Ward will be in net for the Pens game and could be the only lineup change. Elias Lindholm, who suffered an upper-body injury in the third period of Sunday's game, was at practice Monday in a yellow, no-contact jersey but could play, Muller said.
"We had him in his old Swedish flag to make him feel comfortable," Muller joked of Lindholm's jersey.
Forward Tuomo Ruutu also returned to practice Monday, also wearing yellow. Ruutu will travel with the team on the trip. So will defenseman Tim Gleason, although Muller said he continues to be sidelined as he recovers from a concussion.
"We'll see how (Ruutu) feels and where he's at tomorrow," Muller said.
The Canes spent part of Monday's practice working on the power play. Lindholm was with one unit with Eric Staal, Alex Semin, Jiri Tlusty and Ryan Murphy. A second unit had Jordan Staal, Nathan Gerbe, Jeff Skinner, Justin Faulk and Jay Harrison.