The Devils are soaring with a three-game winning streak and a perfect 5-0 mark on the road, but they received some bad news on the injury front Monday morning.
It was announced that defenseman Paul Martin and forward Jay Pandolfo are each expected to miss the next four to six weeks with injuries they sustained in Saturday's 4-1 win over Pittsburgh.
Martin suffered a non-displaced fracture in his forearm in the third period on Saturday and will not require surgery. It is not yet clear, however, if Pandolfo's shoulder will need an operation. He was boarded by former Devil Mike Rupp in the second period on Saturday, left the ice and did not return.
President/CEO/GM Lou Lamoriello spoke to the media while his club took part in Monday's practice.
"There's no question what they bring to the lineup," Lamoriello said. "Paul, certainly, what he brings to defense, and Jay, what he brings to penalty killing and leadership and 5-on-5 defensive situations. But you just cannot put it as anything other than, it's a part of the game. When these things transpire, other people get opportunities. What you hope is that players take advantage of those opportunities and make the most of it. That's all you can do. You can't look at it any other way. We all know what type of players both of them are."
Martin, 28, has two assists in nine games this season and leads all Devils with 23:57 of average ice time. The smooth-skating rearguard has been the Devils' top scorer on the blueline in each of the last two campaigns. He will wear a cast, and Lamoriello said, will eventually be able to skate.
"The first part of the cast is always to put it so that there's no chance of banging into anything, especially when it's in the good shape it's in," Lamoriello said. "When it's non-displaced, that means it's already in place, so it's just the healing. And everybody's body is different. They put machines now in the cast for calcium so it doesn't take as much time."
Pandolfo, 34, has a goal and an assist in nine games and will miss significant action for the first time since he was sidelined for 28 games with a groin injury in 2007-08. That snapped his streak of consecutive games played at a career-high 307, fourth-longest in Devils history.
In Pandolfo's case, Lamoriello said it's impossible to pinpoint the length of recovery.
"I can tell you this from experience: it doesn't matter what anybody tells you," Lamoriello said. "Everybody's body is different. You have players that pop out, go back in, they play within five minutes. Other players, they pop out and it takes a long time because of just their body makeup or just the way they are. Everybody's body is different. Everybody's joints are different as far as what they can take."
|Pandolfo holds the fourth-longest streak of consecutive games played in Devils history (307). |
Defenseman Cory Murphy, who was assigned to Lowell on Oct. 20, has been recalled from the Devils' AHL affiliate, where he was a plus-3 with two assists in four games
Martin and Pandolfo join Patrik Elias
and Mike Mottau among the Devils' injured. Mottau (lower body) did not make the trip to Pittsburgh, but skated on his own early Monday and was expected to participate in regular practice on Tuesday. Elias has been skating on his own following groin surgery in September.
Lamoriello said he expected Mottau to be back in the lineup for Wednesday's meeting with Buffalo at Prudential Center. He didn't feel his club's morale would be affected by Monday's news.
"Not this team," he said. "You start with the coaching staff. This is a mature and experienced coaching staff. You look at the players, and they know what injuries are about; they know they're a part of the game. No one wants to see it happen, but you can't think about anything other than what your responsibility is and what your job description is and do it."
Colin White was resting Monday and did not practice.