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NEWS

Brunner, Harrold return to practice

Monday, 01.20.2014 / 4:29 PM / News
By Eric Marin
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Brunner, Harrold return to practice
Brunner, Harrold return to practice



 
Coach Peter DeBoer had something Monday that he's seen little of this season: a healthy Devils group on the ice at AmeriHealth Pavilion.

Damien Brunner and Peter Harrold were back in the practice mix, with Brunner a possibility for Tuesday's meeting with the St. Louis Blues at Prudential Center.

Brunner skated on a line with Patrik Elias and Dainius Zubrus, while Harrold was paired with Anton Volchenkov.

"It was nice," DeBoer said. "It really gave us a shot of energy. Having a good practice, first off, we haven't had one in awhile with four-and-a-half lines and eight defensemen, so it was good."

Cory Schneider will start Tuesday for the Devils (20-19-11), who are back home after going 1-1-2 on their recent four-game trip. They host Washington on Friday, then face the Rangers at Yankee Stadium on Sunday

DeBoer's club has already lost 202 man-games to injury through the first 50 games of 2013-14, and a clean bill of health could be just the boost they need heading into the final nine games before the Olympic break

"I'm a glass half-full guy," said the coach. "I think the half-full part is we've survived some tough injuries to key positions, top-six forwards, our captain [Bryce Salvador] out for a long time. We haven't had an easy schedule, we've played the most road games in the conference, and we have stayed in it.

"We have to make a move, though. You can't hang your hat on that for much longer. We've got to start to gain some ground here."

Brunner, out for the last 14 games, suffered a lower body injury on Dec. 20, when he was hit by Anaheim's Mark Fistric. DeBoer said "there's a good chance" Brunner will be cleared for Tuesday's game.

"At the end of the day, I'm happy it was only four weeks," Brunner said of the time he missed. "Progress was good, no pain now. I think I'm good to go."

Brunner has eight goals and five assists in 32 games and was just starting to heat up with four goals and an assist in the four games before the injury.

"Injury's never fun, but it helped maybe a little bit to go through it knowing that I played some good games before I got injured," he said. "It just makes you focus, maybe, a couple of percent per day harder to get back and get right back at this level.

Harrold (non-displaced foot fracture, 19 games missed) has been sidelined since Dec. 7, when he collided with the goalpost while backchecking against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

"He's in the same mix as everyone else," DeBoer said. "He looks good, he has full clearance, he'll practice and we'll see every morning how he feels when he wakes up."

The Devils expect a tough challenge from the Blues (32-10-5), who rank second in the NHL with 3.45 goals per game and third with 2.23 goals against.

"They're one of the stingiest teams defensively, so you can't make any mistakes," Schneider said. "On my end, I can't give them any free goals and put us down or put us in a situation where we need to score two or three times, because they're pretty elite defensively.

"This year they've added a dimension of offense to their game. They've always been a solid team; this year they seem to be scoring a lot more than in the past. We're going to have our hands full at both ends of the ice, so it's going to be a good test."

• The Devils announced Monday that Cam Janssen was placed on waivers.

Monday's practice lines:

Reid Boucher - Travis Zajac - Jaromir Jagr
Dainius Zubrus - Patrik Elias - Damien Brunner
Ryane Clowe - Adam Henrique - Michael Ryder
Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier
Jacob Josefson - Andrei Loktionov

Bryce Salvador - Marek Zidlicky
Andy Greene - Mark Fayne
Anton Volchenkov - Peter Harrold
Eric Gelinas - Jon Merrill

Martin Brodeur
Cory Schneider

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 PIT 32 22 6 4 102 72 48
2 NYI 33 23 10 0 104 91 46
3 MTL 34 21 11 2 92 83 44
4 TBL 35 20 11 4 113 93 44
5 DET 33 17 8 8 93 82 42
6 TOR 33 19 11 3 114 98 41
7 WSH 32 16 10 6 95 85 38
8 NYR 30 16 10 4 92 81 36
9 FLA 31 14 9 8 69 79 36
10 BOS 33 16 14 3 82 85 35
11 OTT 33 14 13 6 89 92 34
12 CBJ 32 14 15 3 79 102 31
13 PHI 32 12 14 6 88 96 30
14 NJD 35 12 17 6 77 102 30
15 BUF 33 13 18 2 63 105 28
16 CAR 32 9 19 4 68 91 22

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 28 9 11 0 20
J. Jagr 34 5 15 -11 20
M. Zidlicky 35 4 13 -5 17
M. Cammalleri 23 11 4 0 15
M. Ryder 33 4 10 -1 14
P. Elias 29 4 9 -16 13
D. Severson 32 4 8 -4 12
E. Gelinas 28 4 6 2 10
A. Greene 35 0 9 -3 9
T. Zajac 27 4 4 -6 8
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Kinkaid 1 1 2 .939 1.75
C. Schneider 11 16 3 .915 2.57