The New Jersey Devils ironman streak has taken a beating this season. It’s latest victim is Devils captain Bryce Salvador.
Salvador will have his 106 consecutive game streak broken tonight as the Devils face the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The defenseman will miss the game with an upper body injury.
“All the reports I’ve gotten is good news and day to day,” Devils coach Pete DeBoer told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record. “From what I’ve heard he’s definitely a consideration tomorrow.”
Salvador also played all 24 playoff games last season for New Jersey. He was one of four Devils to play in all 82 games last year, joining Mark Fayne, Petr Sykora and Zach Parise. Parise and Sykora left after the season, and Fayne missed time earlier this season with an injury.
Adam Larsson will be back in the lineup for New Jersey.
The Devils are looking to build on its 3-2 shootout victory over the Buffalo Sabres Thursday night. Down by two with less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation, Adam Henrique and Patrik Elias scored to tie the game. David Clarkson scored in the second round of the shootout, working his shot past the blocker of Ryan Miller. Elias clinched the Devils win in third round of the shootout, beating Miller with a deke and sliding it into the open net.
The win snapped a six-game losing streak and helped keep New Jersey in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. The Devils enter tonight one point ahead of the eighth-place New York Rangers and three points behind the sixth-place Ottawa Senators.
Coming off that win, DeBoer knows New Jersey will need to find consistency to remain in the playoff picture.
“We needed that win mentally,” DeBoer told Gulitti. “Obviously, you hope that translates into a winning streak, but the bottom line is you’re going to have to win kind of two out of every three games here down the stretch in order to make sure you get a playoff spot and that’s what we’re looking for.”
New Jersey visits Carolina for the second meeting between the two teams this season. Carolina won the first contest between the two teams, 4-2, on February 12 at the Prudential Center. Jiri Tlusty led the Canes, recording two goals. Erica Staal and Justin Falk collected two assists. Ryan Carter and Ilya Kovalchuk scored in the loss for the Devils.
That Hurricanes win snapped a five-game losing streak for the Devils and helped usher in a tough stretch of games for New Jersey. The Devils won just three times in its next 11 games, falling out of the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Carolina saw its four-game win streak snapped in a 4-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens Thursday at PNC Arena. Despite a season-high 44 shots on net, the Canes could only muster two goals against Carey Price. Justin Peters allowed four goals on 28 shots.
Tonight is the first time in 69 games between the Devils and Hurricanes that neither Martin Brodeur or Cam Ward will start in goal. Brodeur was placed on injured reserve with a sore back, and Ward sprained his MCL and will miss six to eight weeks. The las time these two teams met without Brodeur and Ward was March 21, 2000. Arturs Irbe stopped 22 shots to help the Canes blank the Devils, 5-0. Chris Terreri made 32 saves in the loss.