NEWS

Zubrus to return vs. Ottawa

Brodeur to start vs. Senators

Monday, 01.25.2010 / 5:14 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Zubrus to return vs. Ottawa
Zubrus ready to return.
After missing 30 games, Dainius Zubrus is ready to return.

Head coach Jacques Lemaire has confirmed that the 6-5, 225-lb. centerman will be in the lineup when the Devils visit Ottawa on Tuesday.

Zubrus suffered a leg injury blocking a shot at Nashville on Nov. 19. He rejoined the team for a morning skate on Jan. 20, and took part in his first full team practice on Monday.

“I still think it’s going to improve over time, but I felt pretty good,” Zubrus said. “I can’t complain too much.”

Zubrus has two goals and five assists in 20 appearances this season, and had not missed a game during his first two campaigns as a Devil. He's eager to be back in action.

“(I feel) as good as I can feel right now and I don’t think it’s going to get very much better any time soon,” he explained. “I feel I can handle the load of the games and the practices.”

He indicated the Devils’ upcoming schedule had impacted his target date for a return. It’s not yet certain whether he will play in Buffalo on Wednesday.

“This is my first, real practice, really, where we’re doing 3-on-2s and 3-on-3s and playing 5-on-5s in the end,” he said. “This is (my first) real practice in a long time, I don’t know when the next one would be. We have three games in four nights then we have another two in three nights, Friday, Sunday. After that, again, I’m sure there’s plenty of games. What am I, going to skate by myself for another week or two?"

Lemaire said Zubrus’ versatility is a major asset for the Devils (34-15-1), who entered Monday with a four-point lead over Pittsburgh in the Atlantic Division. Zubrus centered Andrew Peters and Nick Palmieri at practice.

“Size, skating, can kill penalties, can play on different lines,” said Lemaire, who was optimistic about Zubrus’ conditioning level. “He’s been on the ice quite a bit. He’s been working after the optionals that we’ve had with the guys. He’s the kind of guy that stays in condition. He’s in good shape.”

The timing of the injury might have worked out to Zubrus’ benefit.

“Maybe a good thing is that it happened early enough in the season where I had time to recover and still play the same season,” Zubrus said. “If this would’ve happened in March or April, it probably would’ve been even tougher.”

NJD NOTES
Lemaire said Martin Brodeur will make his 30th straight start in Ottawa. The back-to-back will be a challenge for his squad, which rebounded from a shutout on Long Island to take two of three last week.

“Two good teams,” he said. “Two teams that have been winning lately. They have their guys back. Ottawa’s got a full lineup now and they’re playing great. It’s a good team. We’ll have some work to do.”

• Rod Pelley was back at practice after missing the last three games with a lower body injury.

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 75 16 27 -6 43
M. Cammalleri 68 27 15 2 42
P. Elias 69 13 21 -20 34
S. Gomez 58 7 27 -10 34
S. Bernier 67 16 16 2 32
T. Zajac 74 11 14 -3 25
A. Larsson 64 3 21 2 24
A. Greene 82 3 19 1 22
E. Gelinas 61 6 13 -2 19
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 31 9 .925 2.26
K. Kinkaid 6 5 4 .915 2.59