ATLANTA -- Sean Avery didn't seem totally shocked by tonight's benching, his first since last year's playoffs against Washington.

Asked if he was surprised, he said, "No... I don't know, it's not my decision... I just hope the guys come out hard tonight and get the two points."

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Avery, who didn't commit a penalty against the Devils, was on ice for only two shifts in the third period Wednesday. "I know what's been asked of me, so whenever I get my next opportunity that's certainly the thing I'm going to have to do. I'm gonna keep that to myself."

But Avery, 8-17-25 in 62 games, said he was not exactly sure what being more "engaged," as coach John Tortorella said earlier, specifically meant: "I'm going to have to talk to him about that, and figure out what exactly it is and then instill it into my game.

Asked if playing of different lines helped or hurt his game, he said: "I'm a professional and every time that we put our gear on and come to play, we have a job to do. Adversity's part of the game and you just have to deal with it."