Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner did not make the trip with the Devils to North Carolina and will miss at least the next two games of the team's Eastern Conference quarterfinal against the Hurricanes with a suspected groin injury.
The Devils are still calling it a "lower-body injury."
Langenbrunner was injured in the second period of a 2-1 overtime loss in Game 2 on Friday night.
"Jamie Langenbrunner will not be with us on this trip," general manager Lou Lamoriello said. "He'll be out these next couple of games and we'll see how he is when we get back. But he's not out of the first round at this point."
"It's going to be a day-by-day situation, but he definitely will not be on this trip."
Lamoriello didn't want to speculate on whether Langenbrunner will be back for Game 5 on Thursday.
"It's too early to tell, so I don't want to mislead anyone," he said. "We certainly hope so."
Lamoriello said there was no exact moment when Langenbrunner was injured, though he left shortly after attempting a shot while the Devils were on the power play. Lamoriello said it was not a previous injury that was aggravated and called it "a freak event."
"It was something that just occurred," Lamoriello said. "We don't know exactly how it transpired, but he felt it at a certain point."
Devils coach Brent Sutter said he had "an idea" of what he is going to do with the lines in Game 3 on Sunday night with Langenbrunner out, but would not get into specifics.
"How that all lays out we'll see, exactly who we put with Travis and Zach and what we do with the other guys," Sutter said. "I don't want to disprupt too much. Yet, obviously, there has to be somewhat of a change and we'll make that tomorrow."
Patrik Elias shifted from left wing to right wing to play in Langenbrunner's spot on the line with Zach Parise and Travis Zajac on Friday, but Sutter seemed to be leaning today toward putting Elias back with Dainius Zubrus and Brian Gionta or at least keeping .
He did say Parise and Zajac would stay together.
"Those two guys are pretty good for us," Sutter said. "That's the thing about it. Those two have been a pretty good pair for us as has Patty and Gio."
Could Brian Rolston play the right wing?
"If he's asked to, yeah," Sutter said. "If that's where we want to put him into, he's going to have to play the right side."
But Sutter admitted that right wing is probably the third option for Rolston, who has played more left wing and center this season.
"It's the time of year where guys have to repsond to whatever situation they're put into or position they're put into," Sutter said. "It certainly changes things when you take Jamie out of your lineup. There's a lot of different things to weigh out here and now we're on the road and don't have the last line change."
I took that as a hint that Sutter could break up the checking line of Jay Pandolfo, John Madden and Brendan Shanahan. When I asked if that was possible, Sutter didn't rule it out.
Sutter said it was "a possibility" that Bobby Holik, who was a healthy scratch for the first two games of this series and the last two games of the regular season, would play in Game 3.
"That still hasn't been decided yet," Sutter said. "We're still thinking about it."