Update: The Devils will indeed play without Patrik Elias and Damien Brunner, according to the Newark-Star Ledger.
The New Jersey Devils’ task of ending their seven-game losing streak got harder this morning.
Two of the team’s top three scorers, forwards Damien Brunner and Patrik Elias, might be forced to miss tonight’s game against the New York Rangers, according to the Bergen Record.
Elias is being regarded as “doubtful” after he missed the team’s morning skate due to the flu. Rostislav Olesz took Elias’ spot on a line with Adam Henrique and Jaromir Jagr during practice and already confirmed that he’s playing. Olesz was scratched for Thursday’s contest and has only participated in three games this season.
Meanwhile Damien Brunner needed to leave Saturday’s practice early for “treatment.”
“He’s just dealing with some nagging stuff, so I would call him a game-time decision,” Devils coach Pete DeBoer explained.
If Brunner ends up missing the contest, then there’s a decent chance that Andrei Loktionov will be inserted into the lineup. As it is, Loktionov isn’t sure if he’ll be asked to play tonight.
This is all in addition to the absence of Ryane Clowe, who is dealing with a head injury.
Of course, the Rangers are missing several key players too, including Rick Nash and Ryan Callahan. Both teams have struggled out of the gate and could badly use these two points, but the Devils are unique in the NHL as the only winless team remaining.