The New Jersey Devils managed to dig deep and gut out a 2-1 win against the Washington Capitals on Friday, even with injuries piling up. They won’t get much time to take a breather, either, as they turn around to a Saturday game against the Carolina Hurricanes with those bumps and bruises forcing lineup changes.
The Newark Star-Ledger reports that the Devils will be without the services of Patrik Elias, Adam Henrique and Jacob Josefson tonight because of injuries suffered during last night’s game against the Capitals.
The Devils will skate with 11 forwards and seven defensemen, as Steve Bernier, Stephen Gionta and Tim Sestito slide into their places.
Head coach Peter DeBoer tried to put a positive spin on the situation while noting that the Devils decided a minor league call-up wouldn’t be worth it.
“Same thing we dealt with last night,” DeBoer said. “The nice thing is we have some fresh legs going into the lineup with Bernier and Gionta and Sestito. In a back-to-back situation that’s not a bad thing. Obviously we’re missing some key people but I like the idea we’re getting some fresh legs in.”
Elias, 37, suffered an upper-body injury thanks to this unfortunate break:
Josefson seemed to suffer a leg injury while Henrique’s issue is undisclosed.
The Devils must soldier on anyway, and the Hurricanes – while uneven – present some upset threat. They thwarted the playoff-desperate Dallas Stars 4-1 on Thursday, for one.
Montreal added some forward depth on Tuesday, acquiring diminutive forward Paul Byron off waivers from Calgary.
Byron, 26, is a veteran of nearly 150 career NHL games, most coming with the Flames. Despite fairly solid production over the last two years — 40 points in 104 games — he was exposed to waivers on Monday, along with fellow forward Mason Raymond.
(Calgary does have a logjam of players at forward, hence parting ways with Byron and Raymond.)
Byron can play both wing and center but, at 5-foot-7, 153 pounds, is one of the most undersized skaters in the league. Thankfully for him, Montreal has an affinity for undersized forwards, with the likes of Brendan Gallagher (5-foot-9, 184 pounds) and David Desharnais (5-foot-7, 174 pounds) already on the active roster.
Byron could also fill Zack Kassian‘s roster spot. Kassian is currently suspended without pay while undergoing Stage 2 of the NHL’s Substance Abuse program.
The New York Islanders have claimed goalie Jean-Francois Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings, the club announced today.
Berube won the Calder Cup last season with AHL Manchester, but the 24-year-old has yet to appear in an NHL game.
That the Isles claimed Berube could be evidence that Jaroslav Halak will not be ready to start the season after all.
If that’s the case, Berube would back up Thomas Greiss, with Stephon Williams expected to go to the AHL.
The Isles open their regular season Friday at home versus the Blackhawks, then play the next day in Chicago.