NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils forward Martin Havlat is day-to-day with lacerations on his face stemming from a collision with a referee in the Devils' game Thursday against the Washington Capitals, the Devils said. Havlat did not sustain any structural damage.
Havlat had cuts on his nose and above his mouth after he went face-first into referee Darcy Burchell's elbow late in the second period of the Devils' 6-2 loss against the Capitals. The incident happened after he was pushed toward the end boards by Washington forward Jason Chimera.
Devils coach Peter DeBoer said Havlat's status for New Jersey's home-opener Saturday against the San Jose Sharks would be determined Saturday morning.
"The good news is there is nothing structurally wrong," DeBoer said. "He's pretty beat up as far as cuts and scrapes but those things tend to heal pretty quickly and we'll see how he feels [Saturday] morning."
Damien Brunner took Havlat's spot on a line with Dainius Zubrus and Patrik Elias during practice Friday. Brunner likely would go into the lineup if Havlat is unable to play.
"I think he's ready to play; he's been ready for a while," DeBoer said of Brunner. "Hopefully for him this is his opportunity. If not he'll have to wait for the next one. The nice thing about having a skill guy like that in the bullpen is it's a great luxury to have, a guy who can jump into your top six."
Havlat has one goal and two assists in four games this season. The Devils signed him to a one-year, $1.5 million contract in the offseason.