TROY, NY – On Monday, Reid Boucher became the first Albany Devils player to be recalled by the parent team, the New Jersey Devils. The recall came the same day New Jersey placed Martin Havlat on injured reserve and Mike Cammalleri received x-rays on his jaw.
The transaction along with Kelly Zajac’s upper-body injury gives the Devils a new-look second line. During Monday’s practice, Stefan Matteau and Graham Black – two players coming off injuries – filled the void. The line now consists of Black centering Matteau and Mike Sislo.
“There are a couple of options you could use there, but I think with Boucher going up and Kelly going down, the right fit right now is Matteau and Black,” said Head Coach Rick Kowalsky. “I think it should be a good fit and an easy transition. Sislo is playing well and that line should really be seamless.”
Matteau, who made his NHL debut in 2013, had 13 goals and 13 assists in 67 games last season with Albany. Like Boucher, he was one of the final players assigned to Albany during New Jersey’s training camp.
Black played two games with Albany at the end of last year on an amateur tryout agreement. He made his season debut at Adirondack on Oct. 11. Playing with Swift Current (WHL) last season, he registered a team-leading 97 points.
Janssen and Zajac Out
Like Zajac, Cam Janssen is battling an upper-body injury. According to Kowalsky, Zajac is day-to-day, but will likely miss Wednesday’s game. Janssen is out indefinitely.
Scott Timmins set a franchise record last season beginning the year on a nine-game point streak. The Devils center is back at it again this season with points in all six outings. He has produced eight points with three goals and five assists. In his last two contests, he has two goals, including the game-winner against Hartford Saturday, and two assists.
“He’s a three-zone guy,” Kowalsky said. “That’s his game; he’s not real flashy. He is skating well and he’s strong on the puck.
“He’s playing with skilled guys and he feels maybe a little pressure to get them a puck and doesn’t make good decisions with it at times, but he hasn’t done that too much this year. He is an easy guy to play with and he is one of those guys that makes players around him better. He is low maintenance from a coaches stand point; he self corrects pretty well.”
In 247 career AHL games, the 25-year-old has produced 120 points with 48 goals and 72 assists.
The Devils will practice Tuesday morning at Knickerbacker Ice Arena before hosting the Springfield Falcons Wednesday at Times Union Center (7 pm).