COLUMBUS, Ohio -- After two games in the press box, Alexander Semin will be back on the ice Tuesday -- back in the Canes' lineup and on a line with Eric Staal and Jiri Tlusty.
Canes coach Bill Peters said Monday that Semin likely would return after spending the past two games as a healthy scratch. After Tuesday's morning skate at Nationwide Arena, Peters said he expected Semin's best effort against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
"I'd like to see him work, work real hard, work similar to what our 12 forwards who have been in the lineup the last two games have worked," Peters said. "I thought our work ethic has been very good and I think it's contagious, so I'd like to see him compete at the level we're at and play at the pace the league is at."
Peters said again Tuesday that he did not want to tamper with the lines centered by Riley Nash and Victor Rask. Nash will continue to center Nathan Gerbe and Elias Lindholm, and Rask will center Chris Terry and Zach Boychuk.
With that said, Jeff Skinner moves down to the Jay McClement line -- nominally the fourth line. Skinner, whose 33 goals led the Canes last season, was a winger on Staal's line but now will be opposite Pat Dwyer.
"I think it's a real good spot for him," Peters said. "It's not only about Jeff. It's about the fact we didn't want to break up the Nash line or Rask line. Those lines have been going good. They don't deserve to be split up, so we're definitely going to leave them together. If we have to make some in-game adjustments we'll do that."
Skinner has one goal in six games since returning from a concussion but has 19 shots on goal. He'll continue to be used on the power play, Peters said, and get his minutes.
"If we get lots of power plays, then his minutes will be higher than on a night when you only get one of two power plays," Peters said. "Hopefully we do good things in the offensive end and make them take penalties and get us on the power play. Then those guys will get extra minutes right there."
Forward Brad Malone and defenseman John-Michael Liles will be the extras against Columbus, which faces the Canes in Raleigh again on Friday.
The Blue Jackets (4-7-0) have lost the past five games and have a ridiculously long injury report, and Columbus coach Todd Richards said defenseman Ryan Murray would not play Tuesday because of a lingering knee issue.
But two forwards will be back for the Jackets: Boone Jenner and Matt Calvert. Jenner (hand injury) was activated off injured reserve Monday and Calvert (upper body) came off IR on Tuesday.
"I think they're going to get a good boost out of those guys coming back in the lineup, similar to what we had with Pat Dwyer and Nathan Gerbe coming back in," Peters said."They're going to be excited and I expect a real high-level game.
"Boone Jenner is a worker, a real good player. Every shift he competes hard (and) he's got nice skill to go along with it. Calvert is a similar type player -- good speed, lots of skill. They definitely get better with those two coming in."
Canes defenseman Ron Hainsey said no team in the NHL has been harder hit by injuries than the Jackets.
"They just put guys in and they continue to play the way the team wants them to play," Hainsey said. "Obviously when you lose the guys they lost, they're great skill players."
The Blue Jackets have won eight of the last 10 in the series and four of the past five at Nationwide Arena, so they're doing something right against the Canes.
"We played some great games with them last year," Hainsey said. "In December we had the lead on them in a very big game and made a couple of errors in the last five minutes to lose that game.”
The Canes led 3-2 in the Dec. 23 game at PNC Arena, only to have the Jackets score twice in the final four minutes of regulation for a 4-3 win.
“ That was a big swing in the season where we had played a really good game and let it get away,” Hainsey said. “I'm not sure we ever caught back up to them again, to be honest."