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Clowe, Salvador closing in on returns

Friday, 12.20.2013 / 2:48 PM ET / News
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Clowe, Salvador closing in on returns



 
NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils expect to have two veteran players back in their lineup soon. The question is whether it's before the NHL's three-day break for Christmas or after.

Forward Ryane Clowe (concussion) and defenseman Bryce Salvador (non-displaced stress fracture in foot) participated in the morning skate Friday in advance of the Devils' game against the Anaheim Ducks at Prudential Center. Neither will play against the Ducks, but Clowe and Salvador have not been ruled out for New Jersey's upcoming road games Saturday against the Washington Capitals and Monday at the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Devils bring a two-game winning streak into their game Friday, while the Ducks have won six in a row and are 9-1-2 in their past 12 games.

"As close as possible here now," Clowe told NHL.com. "That will be the next step, get back in the game. I communicated with the coach and GM about how I felt and I think they wanted me to get in a couple more practices, maybe a little more contact, and I guess a little bit of extra patience at this point is not a big deal."

Clowe will miss his 30th straight game since sustaining a concussion Oct. 13. He said he doesn't think he'll play Saturday but would like to be able to get into a game before Christmas.

"I think I'd like to play one game before Christmas," Clowe said. "You feel both ways and understand both ways. If you don't it could be a good thing to take those three days, but on the other hand it'd be nice to go into the Christmas break that you're back and playing. By the time we get into Chicago on Sunday and practice I'll have a better idea."

For Salvador, his injury is pretty straightforward because it involves a bone. He'll miss his 27th straight game Friday since getting hurt Oct. 22, but when it's healed and he's able to play he'll play.

Clowe is different because it's a concussion, his second in as many seasons. He said he has tried to have more patience this time around.

"I think I have tested myself more this time," Clowe said. "I have had a lot of really intense skates on my own. I went through a pretty excruciating process. The first few practices were just practices, then I went to contact and the last three or four days have been a lot of contact. Definitely the steps are there. The next one is to play."

Since Clowe is a physical player the Devils are trying to make sure he's in the proper shape to handle himself in the battle areas on the ice.

"We're doing a lot of bumping and grinding with him. That's the big thing," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "He's a power forward. He's not a speed/skill guy so he's got to be able to take the pounding and be in game shape to work the boards and get into those tough areas and those battles. We want to see some of that and how he responds to that before we stick him in, but he's very close and so far he's handled his tests very well."

The mere fact Salvador and Clowe are going on the trip is exciting to them. They haven't been on the road since they've been out of the lineup. Salvador said it'll be good to get back into a routine.

"Whether I play or not we'll see but it's good to be back with the guys," Salvador said. "It's important to get back in the game mindset."

While Clowe and Salvador won't be playing Friday, DeBoer said Cory Schneider will get the start in net and he'll be making a game-time decision between Tim Sestito and Cam Janssen at one of the forward spots. Here is what the lineup should look like:

Dainius Zubrus - Travis Zajac - Jaromir Jagr

Damien Brunner - Patrik Elias - Adam Henrique

Reid Boucher - Andrei Loktionov - Michael Ryder

Tim Sestito/Cam Janssen - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier

Andy Greene - Mark Fayne

Eric Gelinas - Marek Zidlicky

Anton Volchenkov - Jon Merrill

Cory Schneider

Martin Brodeur

Scratched: Jacob Josefson, Mattias Tedenby, Cam Janssen/Tim Sestito

Injured: Bryce Salvador (foot), Adam Larsson (lower body), Peter Harrold (foot), Ryane Clowe (concussion), Ryan Carter (lower body)

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

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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