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Sutter sticking with the plan

Tuesday, 10.21.2008 / 3:20 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Sutter sticking with the plan
 NJD Audio Spotlight: Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond  
newjerseydevils.com – With or without Brian Rolston and Bobby Holik, the Devils' game plan remains the same.

Head coach Brent Sutter said Tuesday that while some players will need to adjust to the new lineup, his team's strategy will not. New Jersey is home for six of its next seven games beginning Wednesday against the Dallas Stars.

"We need to play a certain way, and that's how we have to play," Sutter said. "Certain guys get put in situations that they might not have been put into as much, like Mike Rupp moving out of position. But it doesn't change the way we have to play as a group, no."

Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond was called up from Lowell (AHL) to replace Holik and began practicing with the team Monday. He joined fellow rookie Petr Vrana, who filled in for Rolston Saturday in Washington and picked up first NHL goal.

Letourneau-Leblond is expected to see time at left wing on the fourth line. Rupp will move to the middle with David Clarkson slotted on the right side.

There is no timetable for Rolston's return from the ankle sprain he sustained Oct. 16 at Atlanta. Holik, meanwhile, was set to undergo surgery Tuesday on his broken pinky finger and is expected to miss 3-4 weeks.

Dallas practiced Tuesday afternoon at AmeriHealth Pavilion following their 2-1 win over the Rangers on Monday. New Jersey prepares to host the Stars for just the second time in five seasons, including the Devils' 4-2 win last November. The teams will meet again on Dec. 31 at Dallas.

"They're a disciplined hockey team," Sutter said of the Stars, who as of Tuesday were 10th in the West with a record of 2-3-1. "Their team game is very solid. They don't give up a whole lot and they're good defensively. Their style hasn't really changed a whole lot in the last four, five years. It's a patient game."

Sutter commented that many players look forward to a break from the usual grind of division play with contests against less familiar foes. Teams have seen their games against divisional opponents reduced from eight to six in order to accomodate at least one match-up between every team. Three interconference "at-large" games also were added.

"You ask players, and a lot of them would like to play other teams," Sutter said. "It's a change... It doesn't change the way we play, but they're playing someone that they don't see very much. I think there's excitement when they get a chance to play teams outside the conference."

NJD NOTES
Wednesday's game is Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night at Prudential Center. Fans can join the fight with special Hockey Fights Cancer gear on shop.nhl.com.


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  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 55 32 17 6 153 127 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
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5 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
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14 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
15 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 47

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2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
L. Stempniak 56 15 25 6 40
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
A. Henrique 54 19 18 14 37
K. Palmieri 56 20 16 3 36
T. Zajac 48 8 19 7 27
D. Schlemko 48 6 9 -8 15
A. Larsson 56 2 11 12 13
D. Severson 52 1 12 -1 13
J. Blandisi 17 4 7 -1 11
J. Josefson 45 3 8 -14 11
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 25 16 6 .931 1.98
K. Kinkaid 3 5 1 .909 2.52
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