The Devils sent rookie defenseman Anssi Salmela down to Lowell today and recalled defenseman Jay Leach from their AHL affiliate.
This would seem to indicate that Brian Rolston will definitely play in Thursday's game in Philadelphia. Salmela probably wouldn't play on the power play point with Rolston back and that was where Salmela was most useful.
The only other thing I can think of is that Devils coach Brent Sutter mentioned Tuesday that the Penguins tried to get either Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin's line out against the Devils' third defense pairing (Mike Mottau and Salmela) . There was little the Devils could do about that on the road because they didn't have the last line change and those two kept getting trapped in the defensive zone and couldn't get off the ice after the puck was dropped.
There's potential for that to be a problem again Thursday night against the Flyers, who have good depth up front.
Leach (6-foot-5, 225 pounds) is a little steadier in the defensive zone than Salmela (6-1, 200) and bigger and more physical. Leach, 29, has played four games for the Devils this season, including two last week while Mottau was suspended for his hit on the Islanders' Frans Nielsen.
Practice is not until 1 p.m. today. I'll try to get a explanation from Sutter afterward.