For Jeff Skinner of the Carolina Hurricanes, tonight's game against the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center offers a convenient measuring stick.

It was on Jan. 15 that Skinner returned from a concussion to face the Caps in Washington after being sidelined for 16 games. Since that last visit to the Verizon Center, last year's Calder Trophy winner has had some ups and downs, some good moments and not-so-good moments for the Canes (24-27-14).

"You come back and you're anxious. You're excited to be back and want to get back to where you left off," Skinner, 19, said Monday. "Sometimes you end up forcing it. That can only hurt you.