Devils left wing Patrik Elias will not play in tonight's game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wachovia Center because of what head coach Brent Sutter called "lower-body soreness."
I suspected this morning that Elias might not play because he was at the arena for treatment. When I asked him, however, I either misunderstood his answer, he did not tell me the truth or something changed after that. It would be undertsandable if he didn't believe he was allowed to tell me he wasn't playing tonight.
Regardless, Sutter said he decided to play it on the safe side.
"It's day-to-day," Sutter said. "We've got an opportunity here with three days between games and I talked to him about it and I talked to the trainers and we felt it was the best thing to do for him to not dress tonight."
Elias was excused from practice on Satuday, but said he was "just resting." Then, he didn't take a shift in the final nine minutes of Sunday's 4-1 loss in Boston, Elias said it was because "We were losing, 4-1," but Sutter said it was related to his lower-body problem.
"It bothered him a little bit through the game (Sunday)," Sutter said.
Elias was not around to comment. He will be at the game later. If I see him, I will ask him about it.
This will be the first game Elias has missed this season.
Brendan Shanahan will be be back in the lineup tonight after resting Sunday. We might see him take Elias' spot on the line with Brian Rolston and Brian Gionta.
There will be no other lineup changes.
Sutter on whether having a chance to clinch a playoff spot tonight is motivation for the team:
"We all know where we want to be. It's not something that comes out and is said, but we have goals inside of our room that we cetainly discuss and talk about and, obviously, one is that (clinching a playoff spot). There's other ones. too. But's not something that's reminded and continued to be talked about."