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Boucher looking forward to facing Wings

Friday, 12.6.2013 / 1:09 PM ET / News
By Mike G. Morreale  - NHL.com Staff Writer
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Boucher looking forward to facing Wings

 
NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils rookie forward Reid Boucher is champing at the bit for an opportunity to play against the team he grew up idolizing while growing up in Lansing, Mich.

The Devils host the Detroit Red Wings on Friday at Prudential Center.

"I live about an hour from Detroit so it was tough to actually get to games, but I watched the Red Wings on TV a lot," Boucher said. "I enjoyed watching guys like Brett Hull and Steve Yzerman. Just a lot of special players who have been winners. That was fun to watch."

Boucher said Hull was his favorite player. Hull played three seasons with the Red Wings near the end of his Hall of Fame career.

"Hull was always my favorite player; I feel like I play like him but obviously am not as good as him," he said. "I probably don't have the shot he had."

Boucher will play his second NHL game Friday after being recalled from the team's American Hockey League affiliate in Albany. He said he will continue to work as hard as he can to remain with the big club.

"We're just hoping for not a big drop-off in his play," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "These are pros; they aren't 16, 17 years old anymore. He's excited [to be playing Detroit] but I don't think we need to temper those emotions. He's obviously going to want to play well in front of friends and family back home and that's a good thing. I don't want to mess with that."

The 20-year-old forward, who skated with center Andrei Loktionov and right wing Michael Ryder during the morning skate Friday, had an assist and scored the only New Jersey goal in a shootout during a 4-3 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday at Prudential Center.

Forward Damien Brunner will be a healthy scratch against the team he once played for. Brunner, who had 12 goals and 26 points in 44 games with the Red Wings last season, was signed by the Devils to a two-year, $5 million contract in September. He had three goals in the first three games of the season but has one goal in 23 games since then.

"The style of play is a huge difference system-wise [between Detroit and New Jersey]; it's like night and day," Brunner said. "You have to find your spot in any system and I'm learning still, trying to get those openings.

"I had a great time [in Detroit] and obviously I'm happy I had a chance to play in the NHL with a great organization. I still have a lot of friends there like [Justin] Abdelkader and Pavel [Datsyuk]."

DeBoer, who has scratched Brunner on more than one occasion this season, feels it all comes down to production when given an opportunity.

"He's a scorer, and if you're scoring you can overlook some of the other areas of the ice where maybe he's not as strong. But when you're not scoring those things become magnified," DeBoer said. "And after 10 or 12 games, eventually it gets to a point where something has to break."

In other news, forward Ryane Clowe, who has missed the past 23 games with a head injury, skated with the team in the morning. There is no timetable for his return to the lineup.

"He's been cleared to skate and get in practice and take contact, so that's the first step of a few here before he's game-ready," DeBoer said. "If we had a full practice I believe he would have been out there too."

Goalie Cory Schneider will get the start against the Red Wings. He is 1-1-0 with a 1.32 goals-against average and .961 save percentage in three career starts against Detroit. DeBoer said he hasn't made a decision on his starter against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.

Here is the Devils' expected lineup against the Red Wings:

Dainius Zubrus - Travis Zajac - Jaromir Jagr
Adam Henrique - Patrik Elias - Steve Bernier
Reid Boucher - Andrei Loktionov - Michael Ryder
Tim Sestito - Jacob Josefson - Cam Janssen

Anton Volchenkov - Marek Zidlicky
Mark Fayne - Andy Greene
Eric Gelinas - Jon Merrill

Cory Schneider
Martin Brodeur

Scratched: Mattias Tedenby, Damien Brunner, Peter Harrold

Injured: Adam Larsson (lower body), Bryce Salvador (foot), Ryan Carter (lower body), Stephen Gionta (ankle), Ryane Clowe (head)


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 175 120 84
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
5 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
6 BOS 54 29 19 6 159 148 64
7 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
12 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
15 BUF 55 21 28 6 125 151 48
16 TOR 53 19 25 9 122 149 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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