NEWS

Brunner, Harrold return to practice

Monday, 01.20.2014 / 4:29 PM ET / 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 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