Just when it appeared the Devils were starting to get over the injury bug, there is a chance that center John Madden won't play in tonight's game against the Islanders because of an apparent foot injury.
Right wing Barry Tallackson will take part in pre-game warm-ups for tonight's game against the Islanders and might play in his first game since he had surgery on Sept. 26 to correct an irregular heartbeat.
The decision Tallackson will be based on the health of Madden, who took a shot off his left foot in the second period of Thursday night's win over Florida. Madden finished the game, but apparently was sore this morning. Devils coach Brent Sutter gave Tallackson the word during the optional morning skate that he might play tonight
"We'll see," Tallackson said. "Madden is a little dinged up. I'll take warm-ups and see how I feel and have the decision made."
Tallackson, 25, played five games in Lowell on a conditioning assignment and did not register a point, but tonight's game would be his first in the NHL since his surgery. He has played in 16 previous NHL games and registered one goal and one assist.
"It's a little different," he admitted. "I've been here before. I know what to expect, but, at the same time, it's my first game in the NHL since last year. So, it's going to be exciting and I'm pretty pumped up about it."
If Madden does not play, it's unclear who would play center tonight. Tallackson is a right wing and it looks like center Petr Vrana will be a healthy scratch again, but that's not certain.
I did not learn of the possibility of Madden being out tonight until after talking to Brent Sutter, so I have no idea what his plans are for tonight other than that he said that defenseman Sheldon Brookbank will play right wing again tonight. I'll try to find out more before tonight's game.
Sutter said forward Brian Rolston (high right ankle sprain) skated again this morning on his own. There is no word on when he'll be ready to practice with the team, but it appears he won't be joining the team for its road trip next week, which begins Sunday in Tampa Bay.
Defenseman Andy Greene (broken right hand) has also been skating on his own, but is not permitted to shoot or handle the puck, yet. Greene hopes to get the go-ahead to do that after he sees the doctor on Tuesday.
Sutter said Greene still appears a while away from playing.
"I'm not expecting him back here (soon)," Sutter said. "He's not a day-to-day guy, yet. You're talking about weeks not days. If it happens sooner, great."