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Salmela leaves game on stretcher

by Eric Marin / New Jersey Devils
**DEVILS UPDATE 8:55 p.m. - Official word is that Anssi Salmela is up, walking and OK.

A hit by Flyers forward Jeff Carter left Devils defenseman Anssi Salmela face-down and motionless 1:01 into the second period of Monday’s game in Philadelphia. He remained down for several minutes but could be seen moving his legs just before he was taken off the ice on a stretcher.

Salmela had just scored a shorthanded goal to give the Devils a 2-0 lead when the hit occurred. Salmela took a pass from Travis Zajac at center and broke around Mike Richards at the right circle before cutting to the middle and snapping a shot past Michael Leighton’s blocker. Carter collided with Salmela in the slot just as the shot was released. No penalty was called on the play.

Salmela, 25, was re-acquired from Atlanta in Thursday’s Ilya Kovalchuk trade. He was signed by the Devils as a free agent during the 2008 offseason and dealt to the Thrashers last March for Niclas Havelid. 

He becomes the second Devil in under a month to leave a game on a stretcher. Patrik Elias missed 10 games after sustaining a concussion at Colorado on Jan. 16, and returned to the lineup on Saturday.
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