Jussi Jokinen will make his first appearance in the city he played parts of four seasons in today when the Pittsburgh Penguins play the Carolina Hurricanes at 7 p.m. tonight.
Jokinen was traded to the Penguins for a conditional draft pick last week and has since scored a single goal and added a shootout goal (his best strength) for the ‘Pens, while the Hurricanes have faltered; not winning since the Finnish-native was traded.
However, the Hurricanes received some good news on Tuesday when they learned that Justin Faulk and Alex Semin would return to the lineup.
Faulk has been out with a knee injury since March 19. Since that time the Hurricanes power-play has experienced a boatload of problems falling to 28th in the league. Faulk should be able to help the Canes in that regard and will also help with the transition game.
Semin has missed the last two games with an undisclosed injury and was missed on the first line where he usually plays with Eric Staal and Jiri Tlusty. To replace the Russian-forward, coach Kirk Muller utilized Pat Dwyer in the vacant right wing spot.
The game is an important one for Carolina, which has fallen out of the playoffs after leading the Southeast Division earlier in the season. The team is currently eight points out of the playoffs and while that is not a huge margin, the team needs to start stringing wins if they want to make the post-season.
The Penguins have not played since Friday, beating the New York Rangers, 2-1 in a shootout. Despite not playing in four days, the Penguins clinched a playoff spot on Sunday with the Buffalo Sabres dropping the New Jersey Devils.