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Elias returns tonight vs. Vancouver

Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 1:46 PM / News
By Mike G. Morreale  - NHL.com Staff Writer
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Elias returns tonight vs. Vancouver
Elias returns tonight vs. Vancouver

NEWARK, N.J. -- Patrik Elias will return to the lineup on Thursday when the New Jersey Devils play the Vancouver Canucks here at Prudential Center (7 p.m. ET).

Elias, who has two goals and four points in seven games for the Devils, had missed the past two matches with an illness. The 37-year-old Elias did some skating on his own on Wednesday and, at that time, coaches were hopeful that the veteran left wing would be back in the fold against the Canucks.

"I probably starting feeling a little better on Tuesday afternoon; that's when I was able to get out of the house," Elias said after Thursday's practice. "I had a light skate [on Wednesday] and felt good. I'm OK today."

Elias skated on a line with center Andrei Loktionov and right wing Jaromir Jagr during Thursday's morning skate.

"I was sick for five straight hours on Sunday and then got a fever and, after that, body aches," Elias said. "I lost a few pounds, but it's not a big deal. I was in bed 18 hours a day and in bed by 8 o'clock. We need to string wins together and get things going here."

The Devils are currently sixth in the Metropolitan Division and 13th in the Eastern Conference standings. Former Vancouver goalie Cory Schneider will be making his third straight start between the pipes for the Devils. The 27-year-old Schneider is 1-3-1 with a 2.21 goals-against average and .917 save percentage this season.

In addition to the return of Elias, defenseman Eric Gelinas, 22, will make his season debut for the Devils. He'll open the game paired with Adam Larsson. Gelinas was recalled on Wednesday morning when it was learned that Bryce Salvador was unavailable for a few days after going home following a death in his family. It will be Gelinas' second career game in the NHL; he made his debut last April 25 in a 3-2 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Prudential Center.

"The coaches told me to keep playing the same way I was playing in training camp, not try to do too much," Gelinas said. "My game was pretty simple in training camp and it worked out well for me. I'm going to try to do the same thing here."

Gelinas (6-foot-4, 210 pounds), a 2009 second-round pick (No. 54) by the Devils, has one goal and three points in five games for the Albany Devils in the American Hockey League this season.

He doesn't seem too concerned with making an immediate impression in order to make the decision tougher on the coaching staff to return him to Albany once Salvador returns.

"I don't know how long I'll be here for, but I'll make the most of it and see what happens," he said. "I don't make the decisions, so I'm just here and when I get the chance to jump on the ice I'm going to try to be the best I can out there."

Devils coach Peter DeBoer said Gelinas will receive some time on the power play and he's hoping the young defenseman makes use of his cannon shot from the point.

"As a team, we have to find ways to get more pucks to the net and more bodies to the net and [Gelinas] gives us some options back there," DeBoer said. "It's not just his slap shot. He's got a great snap and wrist shot, good feet and he can move along the line, so he should help us."

DEVILS

Patrik Elias
- Andrei Loktionov - Jaromir Jagr
Rostislav Olesz
- Travis Zajac - Damien Brunner
Dainius Zubrus
- Adam Henrique - Michael Ryder
Ryan Carter
- Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier

Andy Greene - Mark Fayne
Anton Volchenkov
- Marek Zidlicky
Eric Gelinas
- Adam Larsson

Cory Schneider
Martin Brodeur

Scratched: Bryce Salvador (death in family), Jacob Josefson, Mattias Tedenby, Peter Harrold

Injured: Ryane Clowe (head)

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 82 24 43 16 67
P. Elias 65 18 35 -4 53
T. Zajac 80 18 30 3 48
A. Henrique 77 25 18 3 43
M. Zidlicky 81 12 30 -3 42
M. Ryder 82 18 16 -6 34
A. Greene 82 8 24 3 32
E. Gelinas 60 7 22 -3 29
D. Zubrus 82 13 13 1 26
R. Clowe 43 7 19 -10 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 16 15 12 .921 1.97
M. Brodeur 19 14 6 .901 2.51