Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador will not play in Game 7 against the Carolina Hurricanes tonight at Prudential Center.
Salvador has not played since sustaining a left knee injury in the second period of Game 4 and said after today's morning skate that he still is not "100 percent," but that might not have been relevant to head coach Brent Sutter's decision not to play him tonight. Sutter said he has been happy with the way Andy Greene has played in Salvador's place.
"I don't want to change the makeup of our six D," Sutter said after today's morning skate. "That's what it comes down to for tonight's game. Greenie's come in and has played very well the last two games. He was probably our best defenseman on the ice the other night and the other five guys have been stalwarts back there all season for us. There's no reason to have to change the makeup.
'I know we got Niclas (Havelid) at the trade deadline, but he's had a good playoff here for us, too."
Salvador admitted it is tough to miss another game.
"It's always disappointing," he said. "I'm getting closer. Hopefully after we win tonight, I'll have plenty of time to get this thing 100 percent...It's kind of one of those things where you don't want to be in a situation where you hurt yourself. It's one of those things. It's unfortunate, but what can you do about it?You've got to stay positive."
Sitting out a game in which the team's season hangs in the balance brings a particularly helpless feeling.
"It's one of those things that could have been a lot worse," Salvador said of his injury. "That's the way I look at things. It could have been an ACL or something else or a hip or a back. It's one of those things where I'm back skating. It doesn't feel great, but I'll definitely take it over what it could have been."
Although center John Madden did not participate in today's morning skate, he said he's fine to play. Madden rarely takes part in the morning skate when given the option no to.
"I usually never morning skate," he said. "I was given the option today and I decided to take it."
Devils center Bobby Holik has not skated for the last two days because of a sore back, so he was not available for tonight's game.
There will be no lineup changes from Game 6. Sutter would not say if he was considering shuffling his lines, though.
"You'll see tonight," Sutter said.
Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner continued to be secretive about the nature of his lower-body injury that kept him out for Game 3, 4, and 5.
"I'm back now and I'm not even concerning myself with that," he said. "You can ask me when it's all said and done and I'll tell you."
Did he make a miracle recovery?
"No, I'm not a miracle," he said.
The off-night cribbage match finally resulted in a winner Monday night at the team hotel. Langenbrunner said to ask Zach Parise the results. Parise admitted he and Travis Zajac were edged by Langenbrunner and Jay Pandolfo, six games to five, in their doubles match.
"We lost by one game," Parise said. "We played for a long time and lost by one game."