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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 - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
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10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 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