Skinner returns; Peters to start in net for Canes

Posted by Chip Alexander on November 21, 2013 

— Jeff Skinner will be back in the lineup and Justin Peters back in net Thursday against the Detroit Red Wings.

Skinner has missed the past 11 games with an upper-body injury suffered Oct. 24 against Minnesota. He was activated off injured reserve Thursday as winger Alex Semin, who has a concussion, was placed on injured reserve.

Canes coach Kirk Muller had said he would wait until Thursday before making a decision on his starting goaltender. Cam Ward made his first start on Monday against the Boston Bruins -- the Canes losing 4-1 -- after being sidelined since the Oct. 24 game with a lower-body injury.

Peters had started 10 consecutive games with Ward and Anton Khudobin (ankle) both out with injuries. Peters allowed three goals in his last outing, a 4-2 road loss to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

"He's been playing really good hockey," Muller said. "It has nothing to do with Cam's game the other night. We have to look at the overall picture. We've got three (games) in four (days) and two games on the weekend. He's ready to go."

Skinner will on Eric Staal's line with Jiri Tlusty against the Wings, who are winless in their past eight home games (0-2-6) but did pick up six points.

"It's good. We're finally getting bodies back, which is nice," Muller said. "When we get four lines going we're a much better hockey team.

"(Skinner) was off to such a great start and playing so well. He adds a different dimension that will help the offense, for sure."

Skinner said he's just hoping to contribute to the offense and the Canes can use it. Jimmy Howard will in net for the Wings, who have even up three or more goals in five times in their seven-game overall winless streak (0-2-5).

The Wings are over-due for a victory. The Canes just don't want it to be against them.

"You don't even want to look at those stats sometimes," Muller said, smiling. "But for us we lost the last two. We've been in tight games and didn't find ways to pick up points. We've got to find a way to come out of these games with points."

The Canes' lines remained the same from practice Wednesday: Eric Staal with Skinner and Tlusty; Jordan Staal with Nathan Gerbe and Pat Dwyer; Riley Nash centering Tuomo Ruutu and Chris Terry; Manny Malhotra at center with Drayson Bowman and Radek Dvorak.

The defensive pairs were Justin-Faulk-Andrej Sekera, Tim Gleason-Ryan Murphy; Brett Bellemore-Ron Hainsey and Jay Harrison-Mike Komisarek.

Forward Kevin Westgarth, Harrison and Komisarek will be the healthy extras.

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