PREDATORS (41-16-7) at DEVILS (26-27-10)
TV: FS-TN, MSG
Severson, who participated in his first full team practice on Monday, received a phone call from interim co-coach Lou Lamoriello on Monday and was told to be ready. Severson sustained a fractured ankle blocking a shot by Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin on Dec. 6, and played five more games before coming out of the lineup.
A spot on the blue line opened up for the 20-year-old when the Devils traded veteran defenseman Marek Zidlicky to the Detroit Red Wings for a conditional third-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft on Monday afternoon.
"I guess it shows they have confidence in me and my ability with what I can do out there," Severson said. "I've been raring to get back since the injury and it's been a long wait but the coaching staff and management knew I was ready to come back. It was just a matter of time and with the trade [Monday] stuff happens where spots open up just like that. [Zidlicky] was a good guy, good mentor to me.
"Fortunately for me, I guess, I get to step in and hopefully can pick up right where I left off."
At the time of his injury, Severson's name was in the conversation of potential candidates for the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL rookie of the year. He has four goals and 12 points in 32 games, logging 23 minutes per game.
"I think what Damon has shown us is that he's just 20 in age, not in his mental and physical demeanor," Lamoriello said. "He's earned whatever he's been given and it's just how quick he can come back to where he was prior to the injury. We realize he's been out since the middle of December.
"Part of his makeup is confidence, but he's secure in his own skin. He's not overconfident by any means, not cocky. He's a low-key individual who loves the game, works at it and his success has been earned."
Severson said he doesn't intend to play a cautious game in his return.
"I want to just get out there and play it simple, play my game and stick to what I know best," he said. "Especially at the start. I need to keep it real simple and make passes on the tape and get out of my own zone. Hopefully I'll play some offense, get into the game and get my feet under me."
The Predators lost 4-1 against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Monday, marking a season-high third straight loss in regulation. They remained off the ice on Tuesday, so lineups will not be confirmed until pregame warmup.
Here are the projected lineups:
Scratched: Calle Jarnkrok
Status report: Kinkaid will serve as backup to Schneider after missing the past four games with a groin injury. Scott Clemmensen, who backed up Schneider in Kinkaid's absence, was returned to the team's American Hockey League affiliate in Albany on Sunday. … Lamoriello will have seven defensemen and 11 forwards in the lineup, but Harrold could also serve as a forward if needed.
Who's hot: Cullen has two goals and six points in the past four games. … Cammalleri has at least one point in six straight games, producing five goals and eight points over that stretch.