Right wing Brendan Shanahan said he will play tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning after missing the last two games with a bruised right foot. Defenseman Johnny Oduya also will play after skipping practice Wednesday to rest.
Defenseman Bryce Salvador is questionable for tonight's game, though. Salvador did not practice Wednesday after being hit in the left hand and right foot with shots in Tuesday's loss in Florida. He also did not participate in today's optional morning skate at St. Pete Times Forum.
Devils coach Brent Sutter said Salvador was not feeling well this morning.
"He's just a little ill," Sutter said. "That's why he didn't come down (to the rink) this morning. So, we'll see at game-time tonight."
Sutter admitted that Salvador was "just a little sore" Wednesday.
Sutter said Anssi Salmela, who was called up from Lowell on Wednesday, will definitely play tonigth regardless of whether Salvador plays. It looks like Jay Leach would sit if Salvador plays. He skated this morning and Andy Greene was given the morning off.
Sutter said the decision had not been made yet about who would sit if Salvador plays.
Shanahan had said his foot felt "good" in the morning skate.
"I had made my mind up that it was good enough to go yesterday, but I think Brent wanted me to come out the day after and have another skate just to make sure that I didn't go the other way. I felt fine out there, so..."
Shanahan blocked four shots in Friday's win over Boston, but it was one off the laces of his right skate from Dennis Wideman that did the most damage. Shanahan pointed out that Wideman took all four shots that he blocked.
Shanahan joked that Wideman's name was not accurate.
"Shoot it wide man, not at me," he quipped. "He should be called 'Right at me.' Dennis Right at Me.'"
That's gold, Shanny. Gold!
Oduya insisted he was only resting when he did not practice Wednesday.
"Just the same as last time," he said. "Day of rest."
Sutter confirmed that Kevin Weekes will start in net tonight
Jay Pandolfo will sit to make room for Shanahan's return.
Defenseman Paul Martin will miss his third game in a row tonight with an upper body muscle pull and Sutter confirmed that it's "highly unlikely he'll play Saturday" against the Islanders.
It hasn't been confirmed yet, but it appears likely that NBC will televise the Devils' game on March 22 in Boston, which would shift the start from 3 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.