NEWS

 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Devils visit Washington without Carter

Wednesday, 02.20.2013 / 4:13 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
X
Share with your Friends


Devils visit Washington without Carter


 
The Devils headed to Washington on Wednesday without Ryan Carter, who will miss this week's games against the Capitals.

Stefan Matteau, a healthy scratch for the last three contests, returns to the lineup and will fill Carter's spot on the third line with Stephen Gionta and Steve Bernier.

Carter (upper body) was injured in the second period of Monday's game versus Ottawa and did not return. He did not make the trip to D.C., where the Devils play a rare back-to-back road set Thursday and Saturday.

"For sure it's going to be a big loss, but we have a lot of depth on this team," Bernier said. "We're going to bring Stef on our line for next game and we're going to try to keep working the same way."

The move is a change for the rookie Matteau, who has seen playing time on the top line with Travis Zajac and Ilya Kovalchuk.

"I'm back in the lineup, that's all I want," Matteau said. "Doesn't matter where I am. Even if I'm not in, if it's best for the team; I'm glad to be back in. I'm just going to try to stick and work as hard as I can."

Just as the Devils added Alexei Ponikarovsky to fill in for Dainius Zubrus after his wrist surgery, the hope is that Matteau can step in and help remedy Carter's absence.

"That's what you have depth for," head coach Peter DeBoer said. "That's why we keep around the number of guys we keep around. Hopefully Stef will jump in and it'll be seamless."

Matteau's physical game is considered a constant whether he's skating with goal scorers or grinders. He'll keep that mindset heading into the next two contests.

"I don't change my game," Matteau said. "(Gionta and Carter) are two great players, high-energy players. It's obviously not the same kind of game style, it's more of a forecheck game and straight lines. That's what I'm going to do."

Said DeBoer: "I think he might be better suited at this point in his career for probably the line he's going to be playing on (Thursday) night, but we think he has the capability down the road of being able to ride shotgun with a couple of skill guys in your top six. Regardless, his game doesn't change. It's up and down the wing, get to the front of the net, chip pucks in, be physical."

Matteau, 18, has already shown he can do a little of everything. He has a goal and an assist and a plus-3 mark in nine games, with as many hits as shots on goal (14).

"He's one of the guys who can play everywhere: he can play on the first line, he can play on the fourth line, as well," Bernier said. "He's got a lot of speed and very good vision. We're going to try to use that to our advantage."

Gionta welcomed Matteau onboard.

"We've talked a little bit today during practice," Gionta said. "We're still going to keep that same mentality of keeping it simple and just trying to keep that puck down low. Stef's a big body, he protects that puck well, so it should be nice."

Washington (5-9-1) sits last in the Eastern Conference with 11 points, but has won three of its last four. They saw a three-game winning streak snapped with Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Rangers.

"They've been getting better," DeBoer said. "Their team game is probably 50 percent better than it was (at the start of the season)."

The Devils (9-3-4) have won six of their last nine (6-2-1). They needed overtime for a 3-2 win over the Capitals on Jan. 25.  

The back-to-back road games will be a new experience for DeBoer.

"It's the first time i've done it in the NHL," he said. "If you're going to spend three nights somewhere, I can think of worse places than Washington. It's a good test for us. Get on the road, spend a little time together and hopefully get our game in a good place."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Palmieri 82 30 27 3 57
A. Henrique 80 30 20 10 50
T. Zajac 74 14 28 3 42
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
D. Severson 72 1 20 -8 21
R. Boucher 39 8 11 -13 19
D. Schlemko 67 6 13 -22 19
J. Moore 73 4 15 -12 19
A. Larsson 82 3 15 15 18
J. Blandisi 41 5 12 -14 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 27 25 6 .924 2.15
K. Kinkaid 9 9 1 .904 2.81
Advertisement
Advertisement