ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Jeff Carter
comes full circle just in time to help the Columbus Blue Jackets
Carter will return to the lineup from a separated shoulder on Friday night in Anaheim, where he suffered the injury from a hit by Francois Beauchemin
on Jan. 8.
"It's just kind of the way the schedule worked out," Carter said. "But it will be nice to get back on the ice no matter where it is. The guys have been playing hard here, so I'm going to try and help out a bit."
Judging from the morning skate, Columbus interim coach Todd Richards
kept his top line intact and put Carter on the second line with Vinny Prospal
and Colton Gillies
Carter missed 10 games. He said he isn't limited and can take faceoffs.
"I think I should be pretty good," Carter said. "I think it's an injury that you're always going to feel a little bit. I'm sure it will last kind of through the end of the season but I don't think it's anything that is going to hold me back."
Asked if he'll keep his head up for Beauchemin, Carter smiled and said, "Yeah, if I see him coming."
The Jan. 8 meeting also saw Jean-Francois Jacques
earn a three-game suspension for an elbow to RJ Umberger
. There were also a combined five penalties for boarding, roughing and slashing.
Beauchemin acknowledged Columbus is chippy but said there won't be any carryover.
"We want to win games and we need those points, so we're not really worried about what happened last game," Beauchemin said. "Maybe we can expect them to come a little bit more aggressive, but we have to stay composed and be focused on what we have to do to win the game."
Said Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau
, "I think our focus is in the right place. I think we've reined in our penalties. We know what we have to do and we can't do it from the penalty box."
Richards made a point to put behind Wednesday night's controversial ending against Los Angeles where the clock stopped long enough for Drew Doughty
to score the game-winning goal in the final seconds.
"For me, it's done," Richards said. "It's gone. I'm preparing for Anaheim, and I think that's how the players are, too."
Boudreau, who has playfully taken an anti-Kings stance, was asked if he feels for Columbus.
"I would preferably not feel for them, but because it was (against) LA, I feel for them," Boudreau said. "It shouldn't happen. In today's world, that shouldn't happen."
Blake returns: Jason Blake
will return to the lineup from a foot injury and is expected to go back into the third line left wing spot beside Nick Bonino
and Andrew Cogliano
Blake was hit by Lubomir Visnovsky
's shot and was grateful the foot wasn't broken. It has been that kind of a season for Blake, who missed 34 games because of a severe cut above his left wrist when San Jose's Brent Burns
accidentally stepped on him.
"I'm very anxious," Blake said. "Obviously the year has been very frustrating and disappointing -- missing 35 games and getting hit with a shot. It's like, when's it going to end? When you're not playing, especially my age, it's the game that I love and I want to play. I'm very excited."
Does Visnovsky owe Blake dinner?
"He owes me a lot more than dinner," Blake said, joking. "I told him he owes me big."