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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 - 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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