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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
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 - 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
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
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