TORONTO — Canes forward Jeff Skinner will miss tonight's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs and his return won't be determined until a medical evaluation in Raleigh.
Skinner, the Canes' top scorer, missed the Winnipeg game Friday. He is out with an undisclosed injury and has spent the past few days with his family in nearby Markham.
Canes coach Kirk Muller said Sunday that Skinner -- who absorbed a big hit from Edmonton's Andy Sutton in Wednesday's game -- did not have any concussion issues. General manager Jim Rutherford was more cautionary today, saying Skinner is not feeling well and that the team would wait on the medical evaluation before making a decision on his playing status.
"He's a big part of this team and we're going to miss him and his skill level," Muller said after today's morning skate. "We'll evaluate him when we get back to Raleigh."
Captain Eric Staal was at the skate at Air Canada Centre after returning to the team following the birth Sunday of his son. Staal said his wife, Tanya, and the baby are doing well and he's ready to play.
Staal has a three-game point streak (2 goals, 3 assists) and has three goals and six assists in his last seven games for the Canes (9-18-4), who have lost eight of the last nine and are 1-5 under Muller.
"Obviously a very tough start for our team," Staal said. "It snowballs in the wrong direction and it gets difficult to climb out.
"Any time you play in Toronto it's fun. For us we're excited and looking for a win and no better place than here."
Cam Ward will be in goal for the Canes and James Reimer for the Leafs tonight. Reimer has started three of the past four games for Toronto (15-11-3) and is 0-2-1. He allowed four goals on 25 shots Friday as the Leafs lost at Washington 4-2 in their last game.
The Canes have placed goaltender Justin Peters of the Charlotte Checkers (AHL) on re-entry waivers with the purpose of recalling him, Rutherford said today. Mike Murphy was recalled last week from the Checkers and has played in two of the last three games.
Goaltender Brian Boucher was injured last week in practice and has been placed on injured reserve. His return from a lower-body injury is uncertain.
The Canes did not reveal any lines or defensive pairs today at the skate.