With the All-Star break now in their rearview mirror, the Devils hit the ice Monday for practice.
They get right back into the swing of things with Tuesday's home matchup against the conference-leading Rangers. New Jersey (26-19-3) is looking to snap a three-game skid.
"I think guys are happy to be back," said captain Zach Parise
. "The atmosphere, the feeling is good. I think our biggest thing right now is we have to make sure we're prepared to play [Tuesday] night, because it's the best team in the East and our rivals. We have to make sure we're ready to go. We know how good they are."
The Devils face the Rangers five times over their final 34 games.
"Just over the years that I've been here, I feel like playing those guys brings out the best in both teams," Parise said. "It'll be a good test for us. Those are huge points, 10 points that we'd like to get, it's going to be 10 important points for us to get into the playoffs."Andy Greene
(toe) practiced and could return after a 22-game absence. Adam Henrique
(groin) missed practice and will not play. Martin Brodeur
gets the start in net. Steve Bernier
, who was recalled Monday from Albany (AHL) after receiving a two-way NHL deal, could make his Devils debut. The right wing practiced Monday with Jacob Josefson
and Alexei Ponikarovsky
. Josefson and defenseman Matt Taormina
were also recalled.
"I had Steve in Florida, I liked him in training camp," coach Peter DeBoer said. "He's a big body, he's an NHL player. This guy has a few hundred games under his belt. For me, you get down into the last 25, 30 games of the season, everybody systematically is tight. It's about winning battles and getting to the front of the net. That's why you see so many teams trying to acquire size at the deadline, because it becomes a real important factor. He has that."
Like Henrique, Adam Larsson
(wrist) missed this weekend's All-Star festivities in Ottawa. Devils' President/CEO/GM Lou Lamoriello said an MRI showed that the wrist is fine. Travis Zajac
(soreness) has not resumed skating. He and wife Nicole welcomed a new son, Zenon Nathan, last Sunday.
Parise - Zubrus - Kovalchuk
Sykora - Elias - Clarkson
Ponikarovsky - Josefson - Bernier
Boulton - Carter - Janssen/Mills
Defense: Larsson, Fayne, Volchenkov, Salvador, Foster, Taormina, Greene.