Center Bobby Holik will return to the Devils' lineup Saturday night in Montreal after missing seven weeks with a broken right pinky.
"Bobby will play tommorow -- unless something comes up tomorrow," Devils coach Brent Sutter said.
Like, Brian Rolston, who made his return from a high right ankle sprain in Philadelphia on Thursday night, Holik missed 18 games. He was injured on Oct. 18 in Washington.
"I know one thing: I've got to keep it simple and hope for the best," he said. "I prepaed the best I could and keep it simple, be focused and hope for the best."
The Devils have been playing pretty well of late, winning six of their last seven games, and Holik knows he needs to find a way to fit in without disrupting the good chemistry the team has developed while he was out.
"You have to be ready to jump on the train that everyone is riding on without expecting the train to slow down for you," he said.
Mike Rupp will likely be the odd man out of the lineup because of Holik's return.
"If you look at it today (Rupp will be out)," Sutter said. "We'll make that decision tomorrow."
With the Devils finally getting healthier, players who were playing will have to sit out.
"That's the way it goes when healthy bodies start coming back," Sutter said. "Guys get back into roles they have to play and we expect guys to play that roles and they should expect it to."
Although Sutter later said that he wasn't saying that Rupp wasn't playing well, he has talked in the past about Rupp needing to play his role when he's not playing physical.
Sutter said that sentimentality had nothing to do the decision to sit Rupp and play rookie left wing Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond in Montreal. Leblond is from Levis, Quebec and this would be his first game at Bell Centre.
"This has nothing to do with that," Sutter said. "It has to do with Pierre knows his role. We have no problems playing him. He's responsible defensively and he knows what he has to do. Last night, he banged bodies around. He was involved in the game physically when he got on the ice. This is not because anybody is unhappy with Ruppy. It's just that (David Clarkson) is not coming out of the lineup, Bobby is going in and Pierre is going to play the left side."
Leblond was trying not to get too excited about playing in Montreal.
"It looks like it," he said. "We'll see tomorrow. I don't want to get too excited before I know."
Leblond said he not only has never played a game at Bell Centre, but he also never attended a game or any event in the arena.
"I've never been in that building before," he said. "Coming there, I'll have a chance to see my family. They all live like two hours away and my brother (Jonathan) lives in Montreal. I'm going to see them tonight. It's great. I haven't seen them in a while, since my first game here (his NHL debut against Dallas on Oct. 22)."
Leblond said he has been able to scrape together 12 tickets for Saturday's game so far.
I asked if that was going to be enough, he said, "I hope."
Sutter declined again to name his starting goaltender for Saturday, but it's evident that Scott Clemmensen will get the call again. Clemmensen was the first goalteder off the ice at the end of practice today and that has been an 100 percent accurate indicator of which goaltender will play since Martin Brodeur was injured on Nov. 1.
The last time someone other than Brodeur started in net for the Devils in a game in Montreal was Feb. 1, 1997, when then coach Jacques Lemaire decided to teach Brodeur a lesson and started Mike Dunham instead in a game that ended in a 4-4 tie.
Clemmensen admitted it would mean something to play in Montreal for the first in his career.
"If I would play tomorrow, it would be fun," Clemmensen said.
This will be five consecutive starts for Clemmensen and eigth of the last nine games. Although Sutter won't declare Clemmensen the No. 1 in Martin Broduer's absence, he even took over Brodeur's equoipment stall in the practice locker room.
Brodeur's equipment had been hanging in his stall since he was injured, but today it was gone and Clemmensen's stuff was there.
"That's something new," Clemmensen admitted.
Clemmensen said he moved out of the hotel and into his apartment with wife, Vanessa, and six-month-old daughter, Olivia, on Monday and Tuesday.
"Olivia six months old and this is her sixth place," Clemmensen said.
The stomach flu that weakened Dainius Zubrus last week in Pittsburgh hit Clemmensen on Sunday, but he was over it by Monday.