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Josefson set to return for Game 4

Sunday, 05.20.2012 / 4:00 PM ET / News
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Josefson set to return for Game 4




 
NEWARK, N.J. -- The mood around the New Jersey Devils was somber when Jacob Josefson was diagnosed with a fractured left wrist on April 3.

Josefson was just starting to come on after missing 37 games with a broken clavicle. He was just starting to become the player that his teammates and coaches expected him to be this season.

"I feel terrible for him," Devils goalie Johan Hedberg said that night after the Devils beat the Islanders 3-1. "He works so hard and deserves all the good things. It's not fair."

Josefson will get another chance to make it all OK again on Monday, only this time he'll be getting his chance on the big stage in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Josefson said after practice Sunday, only his second with the team since fracturing his wrist, that he will play in Game 4 against the Rangers at Prudential Center (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS). Petr Sykora is expected to be a healthy scratch to make room for him in the lineup.

"Oh, it's as high as it could be," Josefson told NHL.com about his level of excitement. "My body feels great. My hand feels great. I'm really pumped up to play."

Josefson, 21, has been crushed with some terribly hard luck early in his NHL career. He sat out 30 games last season with a detached ligament in his right hand, 37 games this season with a broken clavicle, and now 17 more counting the playoffs with his fractured left wrist.

He played in 36 straight games after returning from his clavicle injury on Jan. 17 and had eight points (two goals, six assists). He had points in back-to-back games and in three of his previous five games prior to his wrist injury.

"He finished the season very strong," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "I thought the last three or four games of the season he was great. Fresh legs at this time of year, you're 15 games into a playoff run, can never hurt."

Josefson said he hopes to bring "a lot energy and hopefully some puck possession" to the Devils lineup. He will likely start as the third line center between Alexei Ponikarovsky and David Clarkson.

"I haven't been playing for a couple of weeks now, so I have a lot of energy and excitement to offer," Josefson said.

Devils top-line center Travis Zajac said the team is excited to get Josefson back because they know the type of two-way playmaker he can be.

"He's a skilled guy," Zajac told NHL.com. "He makes good plays. He's good at both ends of the ice. He's a smart player, sees the ice well. He's going to definitely help us. He was finding his stride and it's unfortunate that he had some injuries to deal with, but it's going to make him stronger. He's excited and ready to come back.

"He's a big part of this team now and in the future."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter: @drosennhl

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
5 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
6 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
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10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
12 OTT 55 25 24 6 154 169 56
13 PHI 52 23 20 9 122 137 55
14 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
15 CBJ 55 21 28 6 137 170 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
L. Stempniak 55 15 25 6 40
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
A. Henrique 53 18 18 14 36
K. Palmieri 55 20 15 3 35
T. Zajac 47 8 18 7 26
D. Schlemko 47 6 9 -8 15
A. Larsson 55 2 11 12 13
D. Severson 51 1 12 -1 13
A. Greene 55 4 6 2 10
J. Josefson 44 3 7 -14 10
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 24 16 6 .930 2.01
K. Kinkaid 3 5 1 .909 2.52
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