The New Jersey Devils are entering Game 1 on the road tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes with the status of their main trade deadline acquisition uncertain. Winger Timo Meier is a game-time decision after taking a hard hit from New York Rangers captain Jacob Trouba in the team’s Game 7 win on Monday, per head coach Lindy Ruff.
Meier hasn’t exactly lived up to expectations yet, especially with no points in the team’s series victory over New York. He did have nine goals in 21 games for New Jersey down the stretch, however, and has shown to be a valuable offensive weapon in playoffs past with San Jose. If he’s unable to play, one of Curtis Lazar or Jesper Boqvist will draw into the New Jersey lineup.
Elsewhere in the Eastern Conference:
- Now-pending UFA winger Patrick Kane told reporters at the Rangers’ end-of-season availability today that he was never 100 percent healthy after the trade to New York, but praised the team’s training staff for trying to get him there. Kane did not rule out off-season surgery for the lower-body injury that plagued him the entire 2022-23 season. Kane recorded one goal in seven playoff games for the Rangers and posted a career-low 57 points in the regular season (in a full season).
- Carolina Hurricanes winger Jack Drury is expected to return from an upper-body injury tonight when they host New Jersey to start their second-round series. Drury, 23, has slotted into Carolina’s top six with injuries to multiple key wingers. He’ll look to register his first point of the playoffs tonight, expected to flank Jordan Staal and Martin Necas on the team’s second line.