NEWS

 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Niedermayer will play vs. Canucks

Pandolfo, Oduya still not ready

Wednesday, 12.2.2009 / 11:52 AM ET / News
By Eric Marin
X
Share with your Friends


Niedermayer will play vs. Canucks
Niedermayer returns to face the Canucks.
The Devils will have Rob Niedermayer back in the lineup tonight against Vancouver, head coach Jacques Lemaire confirmed this morning.

The centerman missed 11 games with an upper body injury he suffered Nov. 4 vs. Washington. After skating on his own for 10 days, Niedermayer began practicing with the team a week ago.

"He had good practices, he feels good," said Lemaire. "From the first practice he felt really good, so I was pretty sure he would play tonight."

For now, Niedermayer's return may not impact Patrik Elias, who has found good chemistry centering a line with Brian Rolston and Jamie Langenbrunner.

To make room up the middle, center Tim Sestito was assigned to Lowell (AHL).

"Right now, (Elias) will stay at center – for the first shift," Lemaire joked. "He will start at center on his first shift."

Jay Pandolfo and Johnny Oduya are still making progress, but neither is ready for game action. Both took part in today's morning skate. Pandolfo (shoulder) has been sidelined for 15 games and began practicing with the team on Monday. Oduya (lower body) has missed 13 games, and returned to practice yesterday.

Pandolfo said he could have played today, if necessary. With the Devils (17-6-1) on a three-game winning streak, including six straight at home, there was less pressure to rush.

"Better off feeling stronger and better every day rather than coming back too early," Pandolfo said. "We have plenty of bodies right now, and the team's doing well, so you don't want to rush coming back."

Pandolfo's conditioning is up to par and he's back to where he feels he can take a hit. There are parts of his game, however, that he'd like to recover before coming back.

"Little bit of strength, battling one-on-one that's probably biggest to get a little stronger at," he said. "I'm not really worried about taking a hit. It's more, you know, if you're battling against a guy one-on-one, being strong on that; that's probably the biggest thing I still have to get a little stronger at."

Tonight's meeting with Vancouver begins a stretch of 10 games in 18 days. The Devils will play a season-high 10 home contests in the month of December.

"I'd like to get back, just don't want to rush back," Pandolfo said. "I want to make sure I'm ready and not put myself at risk out there. I want to be strong, be able to contribute, and play the right way."

He didn't rule out playing Friday versus Tampa Bay or Saturday against Detroit.

"Probably see how I feel tomorrow after practice," he said. "It's basically like I said, a day-to-day thing. It's going to be how I feel when I come in in the morning. If I feel better, feel worse. So far the last three days have been positive. I haven't felt any worse and yesterday I did probably the most activity with battling and all that stuff. Coming in today, I didn't feel any worse, so that's a good sign."

It's still unclear whether Oduya will return to the lineup this week.

"I really don't know now," Oduya said. "Obviously, it's a coaches' decision, too, when I feel I'm in game shape to play."

Oduya began skating on his own last Monday, and said he felt better at today's morning skate than he did at Tuesday's practice.

"It's a lot better today than from yesterday, too. We'll see," he said. "It's a day-to-day thing in how it transpires and how it feels."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

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
Advertisement
Advertisement