The Devils announced Monday that Merrill had been recalled from Albany (AHL) under emergency conditions. The young defenseman is expected to replace Adam Larsson (lower body) in the lineup.
Merrill's NHL debut was brief: he collided with the boards after being tripped by Minnesota's Torrey Mitchell on Nov. 3 and left the game after just 1:16 of ice time.
"I hope so," Merrill said when asked if he's expecting a better result for his second NHL game.
After being sidelined with facial lacerations, Merrill returned to action with the Devils' top affiliate on Nov. 20. He registered an assist Saturday in his third game back since the injury and has two goals, six assists in 14 AHL games this season.
"I'm just excited," Merrill said of being back in New Jersey. "Any opportunity I get I think I'm just going to try to keep things simple and just help the team win in any way I can."
Martin Brodeur will get the start in goal as the Devils go for their seventh win in 11 games (6-3-1).
Head coach Peter DeBoer said Anton Volchenkov (lower body) would be a game-time decision. Stephen Gionta (ankle) did not take part in the morning skate.
Forward lines at morning skate: Dainius Zubrus - Travis Zajac - Jaromir Jagr Damien Brunner - Patrik Elias - Michael Ryder Adam Henrique - Andrei Loktionov - Steve Bernier Ryan Carter - Jacob Josefson - Cam Janssen