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Elias will not face Washington

Halischuk to play Wednesday

Wednesday, 11.4.2009 / 11:27 AM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Elias will not face Washington
Elias could see game action this weekend.
Patrik Elias will have to wait a little bit longer to play his first game of 2009-10.

Devils head coach Jacques Lemaire said Wednesday that the star forward would not be in the lineup to face the visiting Washington Capitals.

"It's only two practices he had," Lemaire said. "I think it'll be good he gets a couple more, then we'll see."

Elias practiced this week for the first time since undergoing September groin surgery and took part in Wednesday's morning skate.

"Pretty good today," Elias said. "You could see it was a little bit less challenging, but I needed a practice like that just to kind of fiddle with the puck a little bit and do different things. I stayed away a little bit from the stops and starts today, so that was good."

Each day of skating with the team has tested Elias in different ways. Monday's practice was a grueling skate and was followed by a lighter session on Tuesday, when he reported feeling some soreness. There was more of the same on Wednesday.

"Still sore; a little sore," he said. "Like I said, I felt a little bit tired and a little bit sore yesterday after practice. It was the same thing today. That's why I say practice was perfect for me today. I felt it at the beginning a litlte bit, but there were no violent moves out there. It was nice and easy; it was good, except the end. The laps, that gets tiring."

Regaining his timing and conditioning are all part of the process. Elias is the Devils' all-time leading scorer and will add an offensive boost to a New Jersey squad that was 8-4-0 entering Wednesday's contest.

"I think it's a combination of just different moves; new moves," he said. "I've had three surgeries. You can't really forget about it. It's in the process of healing. It's a combination of everything together with the hip. You do different things. You try to get the conditioning back, you skate laps. That's something new for the leg and for the body. You introduce stops and starts, that's something new. Then you practice with the guys, and that's something new. Battling with the guys, that's something new.

"So you just have to take it step by step to feel comfortable that you can go out there and not really go through a couple of shifts and get tired. You just have to take your time and go through it and take it step by step. I think we did a great job with that so far."

Elias said Wednesday's decision to keep him out of the lineup was made before the morning skate.

"I really didn't communicate with anybody whether I was playing or not until (Wednesday)," he said. "They asked how I felt, and I was being honest about it. I think it's the right approach. The guys are doing well, so there's really no reason to rush to hop in a game just for the sake of it. There's the issue with the surgery, and there's the issue of just getting confident with the puck and not getting killed."

He said he hopes to avoid the rude welcome that Toronto's Phil Kessel received Tuesday night against Tampa Bay. Kessel missed the first 12 games of the season after shoulder surgery, and was laid out in the first period of his first game back by Lightning defenseman Mattias Ohlund.

"He got caught with his head down," Elias said. "Obviously, that's going to happen, but you just have to be smart out there. You're not going to be 100 percent comfortable until you get in a game anyway, and a few games, obviously. If you have a doubt, that's never good."

He did not rule out playing in one of the Devils' weekend games. Jersey's Team hosts the Islanders Friday, and heads to Ottawa Saturday.

"Every day is different," he said. "I had a bad day; not feeling great (Tuesday). Today was OK because it wasn't as hard. We'll see how I feel tomorrow and after tomorrow's practice. Back-to-back games, I don't know, that would be tough probably. We'll see. We haven't made a plan, one way or the other. We just have to talk to everybody and make the right decision for everybody."

NJD NOTES
Matt Halischuk has been recalled from Lowell (AHL), and will play tonight.

• With 38 shots in 12 games, Niclas Bergfors is second among rookies to Islanders' 2009 first-overall pick John Tavares. Lemaire said the coaching staff discusses getting pucks toward the net.

"I guess he's one of those who heard what we had to say and tries to do it," Lemaire said.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Palmieri 82 30 27 3 57
A. Henrique 80 30 20 10 50
T. Zajac 74 14 28 3 42
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
D. Severson 72 1 20 -8 21
R. Boucher 39 8 11 -13 19
D. Schlemko 67 6 13 -22 19
J. Moore 73 4 15 -12 19
A. Larsson 82 3 15 15 18
J. Blandisi 41 5 12 -14 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 27 25 6 .924 2.15
K. Kinkaid 9 9 1 .904 2.81
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