Elias, Tallinder out vs. Rangers

December, 20, 2011
12/20/11
11:39
AM ET
Devils leading scorer Patrik Elias is out with an illness for Tuesday's game against the New York Rangers.

Elias, who sat out practice Monday while feeling sick, will miss his first game of the season. With his two-goal performance in the team's 5-3 win over Montreal Saturday, the 35-year-old assistant captain passed John MacLean to capture the Devils' franchise record with 348 goals.

Travis Zajac, who played Friday for the first time since suffering an off-season Achilles injury, will move up to play second-line center in Elias' absence.

"I'm ready to play wherever needed," said Zajac, who will skate between Petr Sykora and Dainius Zubrus.

In the two games following his four-month absence, Zajac is averaging 15:28 minutes per game. He'll be certain to receive more with Elias out of the lineup.

"We're asking a lot of him," coach Pete DeBoer said. "We'll have to monitor him and make sure he's okay."

Ryan Carter will then center Mattias Tedenby and David Clarkson, while Tim Sestito will be on the fourth line between Eric Boulton and Cam Janssen.

• • •


Devils defenseman Henrik Tallinder will miss his third straight game with back spasms.

• • •
Pete DeBoer will coach against the Rangers for the first time this regular seasons since taking over as coach for the Devils.

DeBoer said he's feeling the heat at home to beat the Rangers from his two sons.

"I think we better win. I've got two boys, age 11 and 9, who watch this HBO series like a religion so the last thing they want to see is their dad lose on national TV," DeBoer said. "So I've got some personal pressure that way."

Asked how he handles the mute button while his school-aged kids watch the profanity-laced program:

"My kids are pretty immune to that, having been around me."
Katie Strang covers the NHL for ESPN.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
Follow Katie on Twitter »  Chat archive »

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?