NEWARK — Defenseman Jamie McBain will return to the Canes' lineup tonight against the New Jersey Devils and forward Jussi Jokinen may be able to jump back in Friday against the New York Rangers.
McBain was made a healthy scratch Sunday against the Dallas Stars after a minus-4 game in the 5-1 loss Friday to the Washington Capitals. Derek Joslin replaced McBain and played his first game of the season in the 5-2 loss to the Stars.
"I've been looking for a place to get Derek in a game and wanted to do it," Canes coach Paul Maurice said today after the morning skate the Prudential Center. "I wasn't overly down on Jamie's game. He had a real rough night against Washington and that was kind of the open door for (Joslin) to go in, but I've liked his play overall.
"If Derek had gone in and really heated it up and had a great game, we'd look at someone else coming out of the lineup. I don't think you can expect a guy to sit as long as he did and be the best defenseman, and clearly we had a number of guys who can give us a little bit more in a game like that."
Jokinen has missed the last two games after his leg injury against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He skated with the team today for the first time and Maurice liked what he saw.
"He had a good day today," Maurice said. "We'll give him a pretty good tug tomorrow and if all goes well then he practices with the team Thursday with the idea of playing Friday."
In today's skate, Eric Staal centered a line with Jeff Skinner and Chad LaRose, Tuomo Ruutu centered Alexei Ponikarovsky and Zach Boychuk, Brandon Sutter was at center with Jiri Tlusty and Pat Dwyer, and Tim Brent centered Anthony Stewart and Zac Dalpe.
Cam Ward, trying to shake off two rough starts, will be in goal for the Canes. Martin Brodeur will start in net for the Devils (6-5-1), who have won their last two -- at Philadelphia, at home against Winnipeg -- after losing three in a row and five of six.
Coach Peter DeBoer said Ilya Kovalchuk, who skated with the Devils today, would sit out the game with a lower-body injury suffered Thursday against the Flyers. Kovalchuk did not play Saturday against Winnipeg.
For now, the Canes are the team looking to end a losing streak.
"It's all about the ups and downs of the year," Skinner said. "Every team goes through ups and downs. We want to come in here and play a hard game. I think our compete level needs to be higher and I think that's what you're going to see tonight."