Injuries to Canes forwards Tuomo Ruutu and Chad LaRose have led to some interesting lineup decisions for the San Jose game.
Jerome Samson, recalled Wednesday from the Charlotte Checkers (AHL), will be on Eric Staal's line opposite Jiri Tlusty. And defenseman Derek Joslin could see time as a fourth-line winger with center Tim Brent and Anthony Stewart.
Another lineup decision will be made tomorrow, Canes coach Kirk Muller said -- on the starting goaltender. Cam Ward missed a second straight practice today, and while Muller said Ward was fine physically, he did not name the starter for the Sharks.
With the Canes set to play three games in four days, Muller said backup Justin Peters likely would get a start in that stretch. Peters' last start was Jan. 7 against the Nashville Predators.
"We've got a big March ahead of us," Muller said. "We've got three in four nights. So we've got to look at the schedule and make a decision on where we feel we get (Peters) in and give him a chance."
Muller said LaRose had an upper-body injury and was day-to-day. Ruutu is out three weeks with an upper-body injury.
Samson was recalled Sunday and played Monday in Montreal against the Canadiens on a line with Jeff Skinner and Jussi Jokinen. He was reassigned to the Checkers on Tuesday, only to be recalled Wednesday.
"Samson is the kind of guy who can get in there and grind it out and make plays," Muller said. "He's hard on the puck and in the corners. I think he's a guy who can get in there and play with those guys."
Muller said he "had no problem" starting Joslin on the wing, adding it's a "versatile role we might have to use him in."
There are forwards available in Charlotte with NHL experience -- Zac Dalpe and Zach Boychuk, to name two. Apparently they will stay in Charlotte.
"To just bring a young kid up and just plop him in ... if he doesn't deserve it, then he doesn't deserve it," Muller said. "I'd rather put a kid in like Joslin who's worked hard every day. He's kept his mouth shut, he's worked hard every day and been professional. He can play defense, if we need him, in these three-in-four-games."
With the NHL trade deadline approaching, with defensemen Bryan Allen and Jaroslav Spacek still trade possibilities, the Canes may feel the need to get Joslin some game action.
Joslin said he had not played forward since he was 12 or 13 years old but is more than willing to do it. Joslin was in the Sharks' organization for five years before being traded to the Canes last season.
"I'm a little surprised but I've been filling in on the wing the last couple of weeks," Joslin said. "I've been showing them what I can do and working hard."
Joslin last played Jan. 31 against the New York Islanders and had been a healthy scratch the past five games.
"I think they think I need to get back in there and get back in the game," Joslin said. "If it's on wing, I'll play wing. I'll play wherever they need me to be. I have a big body and along with Anthony Stewart I think we can create some things down low and take the puck to the net, keep it simple and just get in front of their goalie."
Joslin smiled, adding, "You never know. Could bang home a couple tomorrow."