GAME: New Jersey Devils (22-11-10-1) at Pittsburgh Penguins (11-28-5-3).
TIME: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
With the status of star defenseman Scott Stevens a little clearer, the New
Jersey Devils take on the last-place Pittsburgh Penguins at Mellon Arena.
Stevens, New Jersey's captain, confirmed Saturday he has post-concussion
syndrome and will be sidelined indefinitely. Stevens missed his fifth straight
game Saturday, when the Devils beat the Washington Capitals 2-1 in overtime.
New Jersey initially reported Stevens had the flu, but published reports
suggested the problem was more serious.
The 39-year-old defenseman hasn't played since Jan. 7.
"I'm just resting and not doing anything at all," Stevens said. "It's
really difficult. I'm used to being active, especially this time of year. I
need to step back and rest."
Stevens has no idea when the concussion occurred and did not set a timetable
for his return.
Stevens, voted to start for the Eastern Conference in next month's All-Star
game, hadn't missed a regular-season game due to injury or illness since the
1999-00 season, when he sat out with the flu.
The absence of Stevens takes the emotional leader away from the struggling
Devils, who had been 2-5-2 in nine games before beating Washington on Saturday.
Patrik Elias scored his fourth overtime goal of the season, tying the NHL
record held by teammate Scott Niedermayer and Toronto's Mats Sundin.
"I like the four-on-four," said Elias, who had both of New Jersey's goals.
"It's very exciting for the fans. You're trying to win a hockey game and it's
been working for us."
In their last 10 outings, the Devils are 2-0-2 when the game has gone to
overtime, compared to a 1-5-0 mark when it doesn't.
Pittsburgh, lingering at the bottom of the Atlantic Division, fell 4-3 to
the Capitals on Saturday for its third straight loss. Milan Kraft and
Konstantin Koltsov had power-play goals for the Penguins, who have scored with
the man advantage in four consecutive games.
"That's the way our special teams have been all year," Pittsburgh coach
Eddie Olczyk said. "When our power play is going well, our penalty kill lets
The Penguins sent goaltender Sebastien Caron to AHL club
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Monday. Caron, a dismal 5-17-3 this season with a 3.87
goals-against average, lost his roster spot to Jean-Sebastien Aubin.
Aubin was called up from the AHL when rookie Marc-Andre Fleury went to play
for the Canadian junior national team last month. Aubin is 2-3 with a 2.28 GAA
for the Penguins during Fleury's absence.
Fleury returned to the Penguins last week after leading the Canadian team to
a silver medal.
This is a matchup of the league's best and worst defenses. The Devils have
allowed just 82 goals, while the Penguins have yielded 169.