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Jokinen to Play; Walker Stays Home

by Paul Branecky / Carolina Hurricanes
After a week away from the team to attend his father’s funeral in Finland, it was originally thought that Jussi Jokinen would need a few days of skating before he could return to game action.

Paul Branecky
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Turns out, that’s not the case.

“He skated every day last week, and he’ll play tomorrow,” said coach Paul Maurice. “I actually saw him skate today and he looked good.”

That will likely be the only lineup change from last night’s important 3-0 win over the New York Rangers. Scott Walker, who has not been feeling 100 percent since his initial return from a concussion, will not make the upcoming three-game trip, which also goes through Dallas and Washington.

Brandon Sutter, recalled yesterday from a two-week conditioning stint in Albany, will be with the team but isn’t expected to play against Chicago. Maurice said he had an idea of which player would exit the lineup to make room for Jokinen, but wouldn’t say who until he had a chance to inform the player personally.

The first two games of the trip come on back-to-back nights, with the Hurricanes facing Dallas on Thursday. While the team currently has some extra players on the roster, Maurice said he may need to use all of them to get through a stretch of five games in seven nights.

“We’re going to need our entire bench to play well,” he said.

Cam Ward has started 15 straight games for the team, and, although he's played well, could be due for a break soon. Maurice said that could happen on this trip.

“The games say he’s due for a night off,” said Maurice. “That may be in Washington, but then we have three days off afterwards where he could rest. We’ll see what his workload is like after the Chicago game and make a decision from there.”

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