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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 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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