The Devils expect to be without Dainius Zubrus for four to six weeks after the 34-year-old left wing underwent surgery on his left wrist Thursday.
The Devils did not reveal the exact nature of Zubrus’ injury, which he sustained in the team’s 3-1 win over the Rangers on Feb. 5. With Zubrus out, general manager Lou Lamoriello reacquired left wing Alexei Ponikarovsky in a trade Wednesday night with the Winnipeg Jets.
Ponikarovsky, 32, will begin his second stint with the Devils tonight when they host the Philadelphia Flyers.
"There’s obviously a nice comfort level there when you can add a player that has been in the program before, knows the systems," Devils coach Pete DeBoer said Thursday. "You know what he’s about. He knows the expectations. So, I’m obviously very happy and excited to get him back in here in the lineup."
DeBoer said Ponikarovsky was "a key part of our run" last season to the Stanley Cup Finals before he left on July 1 to sign a one-year, $1.8 million contract with Winnipeg as an unrestricted free agent.
TALLINDER WAITS: Defenseman Henrik Tallinder will be a healthy scratch tonight for the seventh consecutive game. Tallinder had what he called an "open-heart discussion" with DeBoer on the ice at the end of Thursday’s practice.
"That’s what good coaches do," Tallinder said. "Sometimes you have to explain the situation and hear what the player thinks and all that just to keep the group intact."
DARCHE DEPARTS: After attending training camp as a tryout and continuing to skate with the team during the regular season without a contract, left wing Mathieu Darche decided to head home to Montreal after meeting with Lamoriello following Thursday’s practice.
Devils' Dainius Zubrus out four to six weeks
Bergen Record | Feb 15