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Langenbrunner returns to practice

Tuesday, 11.30.2010 / 11:01 AM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Langenbrunner returns to practice
Jamie Langenbrunner
The surging Devils are a step closer to welcoming Jamie Langenbrunner back to the lineup. The captain, who has missed the last eight games, returned to practice with the team Tuesday morning and skated with Ilya Kovalchuk and Travis Zajac.

Langenbrunner is a possibility for Thursday's home matchup with Montreal. The Devils visit Philadelphia on Saturday for a 1 p.m. matinee with Flyers.

"We’ll see how [Wednesday] feels after taking another step and getting banged a little bit," Langenbrunner said. "We’ll see how we feel [Wednesday] and go from there. We’ve got a couple of days."

Langenbrunner (neck) fell awkwardly into the boards after he was hooked by Buffalo's Tyler Ennis in the second period of the Devils' 5-4 shootout loss on Nov. 10. He has three goals and six assists in 16 games.

Head coach John MacLean's looking for another good practice from Langenbrunner.

"We’re hopeful," MacLean said. "I thought he had a good practice. We’ll see how he is [Wednesday], and hopefully he gets through another day of practice, then we’ll make that decision."

Matt Corrente (upper body) also practiced after missing the last two games.

After a sluggish start, the Devils (8-14-2) have found a winning rhythm. They took three of four last week, including a season-high fourth straight home victory. Johan Hedberg has been superb in place of Martin Brodeur, stopping 113 of 117 shots faced in his last four starts. That included a 40-save performance in Saturday's 2-1 shootout win over Philadelphia, and a 5-0 whitewash of the Capitals last Monday.

Brodeur has not played since Nov. 18 at Toronto, when he aggravated his bruised right elbow. He sustained the original injury at Chicago on Nov. 3, taking a Patrick Kane shot off an unprotected area of his elbow.

-- Jason Arnott (sick) and David Clarkson (personal reasons) did not skate Tuesday.

"We had Sunday off, and then Monday he said he wasn’t feeling well," MacLean said of Arnott. "Hopefully he gets through it and he’s back at practice [Wednesday]."

Arnott leads the Devils with eight goals and has centered the second line of Patrik Elias and rookie Mattias Tedenby.

"Arnie’s played well," MacLean said. "He’s got some goals, he takes minutes up in the middle, they’ve done some good things. He just needs to keep going like that. When he’s skating and using his size and strength, he’s an effective player."

Tuesday's lines:
Ilya Kovalchuk Travis Zajac Jamie Langenbrunner
Patrik Elias Adam Mair Mattias Tedenby
Brian Rolston Dainius Zubrus Alexander Vasyunov
Rod Pelley Stephen Gionta

Defensemen: Andy Greene, Henrik Tallinder, Colin White, Mark Fayne, Anssi Salmela, Matt Corrente, Anton Volchenkov, Olivier Magnan

Goalies: Johan Hedberg, Mike McKenna