Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said defenseman Dustin Byfuglien has been "sore for a little while" and that his lower-body injury acted up in Monday's practice.

Byfuglien did not travel with the Thrashers to Raleigh for tonight's game against Carolina and will miss his first game of the season.

"He couldn't skate again [Tuesday]," Ramsay said. "We decided to err on the side of caution."

Byfuglien is the team's second leading scorer (19 goals, 30 assists). Ramsay said the Thrashers will face a challenge without the all-star.