Devils’ prospect Stefan Matteau will be at Madison Square Garden tonight with his father, Stephane, to watch the Rangers and the Washington Capitals in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. Stephane, a former Ranger, was scheduled to speak this afternoon to students from a school in the Philadelphia area as part of the Mark Messier Leadership Camp and thought it would be a good experience for his son to come and listen, so he had him come to New York for the day.

It’s been a rough couple weeks for Stefan, the Devils’ 2012 first-round draft pick, who was released by his junior team, the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada of the QMJHL, following an verbal exchange with head coach Jean-Francois Houle after April 20 playoff game against Baie-Comeau.

Stefan Matteau, 19, had been benched for the entire third period after taking a retaliatory slashing penalty with the game tied 1-1. Houle elected not to play Matteau after he exited the penalty box, leaving him on the bench for another player following a stoppage in play. Baie-Comeau scored the winning goal 10 seconds after the penalty expired.

Stephane, an Armada assistant coach, said his son let his emotion get the best of him and expressed his displeasure with being benched in a heated exchange with Houle after the game. Although Stephane acknowledged that Stefan made “a mistake”, he said he did not agree with the decision of Houle and GM/owner Joel Bouchard, to release him immediately after the game.

“They released him on emotion and emotion only,” Stephane Matteau said. “In the semifinals, he got speared and he retaliated – it’s a hockey play – and they decided to sit him out the whole third period of a 1-1 game. Emotionally, he let the coach know it was unfair the way he was treated for that moment and they went at it verbally and they kicked him off (the team) five minutes after the game.”