RALEIGH, N.C. -- Montreal forward Erik Cole makes his first visit to Carolina after signing a four-year contract with the Canadiens at the start of free agency last July. Always one of Carolina's most popular players, Cole is familiar with returning to Raleigh in another NHL uniform. He was traded to Edmonton before the 2008-09 season, only to be brought back at the trade deadline later that season.
"No matter what the circumstances are, even with being traded to Edmonton, you commit to it and commit to your teammates," Cole said on Wednesday morning. "It's part of the job. There are some things in this business you can't control no matter who you are playing for. You just come to work every day and play hard."
Montreal coach Jacques Martin said Hal Gill will return to the lineup after missing time with a virus. Martin did not reveal which defenseman will come out of the lineup.
Here are how the lineups are projected to look for tonight's game at the RBC Center:
Michael Cammalleri - Tomas Plekanec - Brian Gionta
Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Erik Cole
Travis Moen - Scott Gomez - Lars Eller
Mathieu Darche - Petteri Nokelainen - Aaron Palushaj
Josh Gorges - P.K. Subban
Yannick Weber - Hal Gill
Raphael Diaz - Alexei Emelin / Frederic St.Denis
Jeff Skinner - Eric Staal - Tuomo Ruutu
Alexei Ponikarovsky - Jussi Jokinen - Chad LaRose
Jiri Tlusty - Brandon Sutter - Patrick Dwyer
Anthony Stewart - Tim Brent - Brett Sutter
Tim Gleason - Bryan Allen
Justin Faulk - Jay Harrison
Jamie McBain - Tomas Kaberle