Tuomo Ruutu (hip) will make his season debut Thursday night against New Jersey.
He underwent hip surgery back in December and will start out on the fourth line. "He's excited. The players are excited for him," said coach Kirk Muller. "We'll be a better team with him in the lineup. And the way this year has been, heaving one more healthy body is huge." Once Ruutu gets back up to game speed, he should add physicality and some scoring to Carolina's forward group.