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NJD Notes 12.30: Salvador out for tonight

by Eric Marin / New Jersey Devils
The Devils will be without defenseman Bryce Salvador for tonight’s matchup with Pittsburgh. Matt Corrente, who was recalled from Lowell (AHL) on Tuesday, will be inserted into the lineup.

Salvador suffered a lower body injury in Monday’s 3-2 win over Atlanta, and left the game in the second period. Head coach Jacques Lemaire didn’t know when Salvador might be back, and said no decision had been made on whether Salvador would travel to Chicago for Thursday’s meeting with the Blackhawks.

“Tough news for a guy like Sal,” said Andy Greene, Salvador’s blueline partner. “He’s such a steady, veteran guy back there. He’s always making good plays; making the right plays. He brings that tough, net presence and he makes guys pay in front of the net. But at the same time, Matty’s ready to go. I’m sure he’s anxious and excited. He’ll be ready and play his game out there, and we’ll just all have to chip in for what Sal does.”

Salvador, 33, has played in all 37 games this season, recording two goals and six assists. Both tallies came in the last five contests. He'll be missed as the Devils try to go 4-0 against the defending Stanley Cup champions.

“They’re going to be fired up to come out here tonight,” Greene said. “We have to match their intensity and play just as hard. They’re obviously a skilled team, but they work extremely hard and they have guys that go to the net and are willing to pay a price there. We have to make it tough on them, but be smart about it.”

Corrente has made seven NHL appearances this season, and last played at Buffalo on Dec. 7. The 21-year-old will skate with Mark Fraser, reuniting a pair that played together last season in Lowell.

That familiarity is a big advantage.

“Absolutely it is,” Fraser said. “At the same time, at this level, you can adjust to anyone you’re with. But being familiar with someone just makes a huge difference.”

Fraser has scored both of his goals this season against the Penguins, prompting Corrente to joke that he’ll be looking for the “D-to-D” pass all night. Fraser said a simple game is the way to go.

“I’ve definitely been fortunate against them so far,” Fraser said. “But it’s nice to have (Corrente) back. We’re pretty comfortable with each other. We were partners last year in Lowell, so I think if both of us just keep our games pretty simple, we’ll have some fun out there.”
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