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Liles Expected to Play Versus Devils

by Aaron Lopez / Colorado Avalanche
After today’s practice, Avalanche head coach Tony Granato stated that defenseman John-Michael Liles (wrist) should play on Thursday when the Avs continue their six-game road trip with a contest against the New Jersey Devils.

A definitive decision on his availability will be made following tomorrow’s morning skate.

Liles last saw game action on Feb. 15 at Detroit, when he suffered the injury. He was placed on Injured Reserve on Feb. 18.

The Indianapolis native leads all Avalanche blueliners in goals (7), assists (21) and points (28) and should provide a nice boost to the power play when he gets back in the lineup. Liles, who normally mans the point on Colorado’s top power-play unit, has recorded 15 of his 28 points with the Avs on the man-advantage (4g/11a).

In other news along the blue line, Darcy Campbell has been reassigned to the Lake Erie Monsters – Colorado’s American Hockey League affiliate. Campbell was recalled on Feb. 19, but did not see game action with the Avalanche.

Raycroft in for Avs, Brodeur Back for Devils
Andrew Raycroft will be in net on Thursday after serving as the backup to Peter Budaj during Tuesday’s 4-3 loss to the Atlanta Thrashers. Raycroft has faced the Devils eight times in his career, posting a 4-4-0 record with a 2.77 goals-against average.

Meanwhile, a face familiar to NHL fans should be back between the pipes for the Devils. Goaltender Martin Brodeur, who had surgery on Nov. 6 to repair the distal bicep in his left elbow, is expected to play in his first game since being injured on Nov. 1 against Atlanta.

The reigning Vezina Trophy winner was activated from Injured Reserve on Wednesday.

The Devils also reassigned goaltender Scott Clemmensen to the Lowell Devils, the club’s AHL affiliate. Clemmensen handled the majority of the netminding duties during Brodeur’s absence, posting a 25-13-1 mark with a 2.39 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in 40 appearances.

The move leaves Brodeur and veteran Kevin Weekes as the two goalies on New Jersey’s roster.

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