The Canes are headed West and they'll be taking a few extra bodies along.
Chad LaRose, out the past two games with flu-like symptoms, was at practice today at the RBC Center. LaRose is ready to rejoin the lineup, but Canes coach Kirk Muller said an extra forward likely would be on the three-game trip to Anaheim, Colorado and Montreal.
The Canes also have an extra defenseman. Derek Joslin has been a healthy scratch the past two games with the return of Jaroslav Spacek.
Muller said goalie Cam Ward, who has started the past 11 games, likely would be in net for all three road games and should have a heavy workload the rest of the season. Backup Justin Peters has not played since Jan. 7 in Nashville.
"I'd love to get (Peters) in but I think it's going to be more depending on the schedule," Muller said. "It's spaced out, (Ward) is on a roll and is playing well. He had the week off (All-Star break) so he's well-rested. This is where he usually excels.
"So we're going to ride him hard right now until the schedule tightens up."
Muller said Brian Boucher would stay in Raleigh this week and that Boucher should be ready to start taking shots when the Canes return. He said that would be the "second stage" in getting Boucher, out since Dec. 5 with a lower-body injury, back in net.
The Canes practiced today in a closed session for season-ticket holders, which Muller called a light workout.
"I don't think today is the day to really focus on details," he said. "We've got a chance to do that out West in Anaheim. It was more for (the fans) to have some fun and see the players in a different environment, and try to get them to show their skill a little bit rather than the structural part of a typical practice."
The Canes ended practice with a shootout that included -- with loud urging from the fans -- Muller and assistant coaches John MacLean and Dave Lewis. Among the shooters scoring was Brandon Sutter, who popped a top-shelf shot past Cam Ward with a nice move.
Sutter has taken just one shootout shot in a game and did not convert, but has scored several of his goals in one-on-one showdowns with goalies on rushes and breakaways.
"There's a lot of supporters for him on this shootout," a smiling Muller said.
For the record, Muller and MacLean did not score in the shootout. Lewis barely got the puck moving toward Ward, who then allowed it to trickle between his pads. Score one for Lewis.
"First goal for me since 1987," Lewis said, laughing.