Cam Ward will be back in goal and Rod Brind'Amour back in the lineup tonight.
Ward will make his first start since Nov. 7 tonight against the New Jersey Devils at The Rock. Brind'Amour, a healthy scratch Monday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, will replace injured winger Sergei Samsonov in the lineup.
"Cam's back in the saddle," coach Paul Maurice said after today's morning skate.
"I'm real excited about it," Ward said. "It's been a long time since I've played. Along with being excited I need to make sure I'm relaxed out there. Just play my game and keep it simple.
"It's been a long four weeks. I don't know what's hurt more, my knee or being pushed to the sideline."
While Ward has been practicing and working with assistant coach Tom Barrasso, he has not been in goal since being cut on the left leg by the skate of Columbus' Rick Nash in the Nov. 7 road game. It was an injury Ward initially feared might be devastating to a goaltender, so close to the tendons and ligaments near the knee.
Ward had a similar injury before, against the New York Rangers, and missed a handful of games. But this one was different.
"I knew I had been hit but didn't know how bad it was until I looked down," he said. "What scared me the most was looking down and seeing the muscle staring back at me.
"I knew it was more serious than New York in that they wanted to immediately go to the hospital (in Columbus) and go into surgery. Right then and there, I knew it wasn't going to be easy to come back from for some time.
"It made me uneasy. But I once again dodged a bullet that it didn't hit any tendons. A few more centimeters and it could have been a career-ending or year-ending injury. So I've had two strikes and I don't want that third one."
On Brind'Amour, Maurice said the captain's benching in Pittsburgh was "not an easy decision to make."
"At the same time," he added, "those things happen."