Jamie Langenbrunner admitted to being concerned after he went headfirst into the boards on Nov. 10. Langenbrunner fell awkwardly, the result of a hook from Buffalo’s Tyler Ennis.
He finished the game, but would miss the next eight with a neck injury. Now he’s ready to return tonight against Montreal. It’s a relief that it wasn't a bigger setback for the captain, who will skate with Ilya Kovalchuk
and Travis Zajac
“Any time you get injured, especially maybe in that area, maybe you’re a little more cautious than other times,” Langenbrunner said. “I think we knew we had a pretty good grasp on what it was right away and just treated it as such.”
The Devils (8-14-2) have shown signs of righting the ship, especially at home. They have won four straight at Prudential Center since going winless in their first seven in Newark. Langenbrunner has liked what he’s seen from the club in his absence.
“From afar, I think our game is getting back to where it needs to be,” he said. “We’re beginning to play as a team and the results are starting to show because of that. We still have some steps to take. Consistency is going to be the biggest one, doing that night in, night out and beginning to dig ourselves out of this hole that we’ve put ourselves in.”
Langenbrunner has three goals, six assists in 16 games, averaging 18:32 of ice time a game. He won’t know if he’s ready for that workload until the game’s underway.
“Obviously you can’t simulate playing in the game and that’s the hardest thing for anybody coming back from an injury is getting back into that game feel,” he said. “I think just the way guys have been playing, it’s been good and hopefully I can just add something to the lineup.”
Matt Corrente (two games, upper body) also returns to the lineup tonight.
“Jamie and Corrente are good to go,” head coach John MacLean said. “We look forward to getting them both back in the lineup.”