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Pandolfo, Oduya activated; Halischuk to Lowell

by Eric Marin / New Jersey Devils
The Devils have activated forward Jay Pandolfo and defenseman Johnny Oduya from injured reserve. Forward Matt Halischuk has been assigned to Lowell (AHL).

Both Pandolfo and Oduya will be in the lineup for Saturday's home matchup with Detroit.

Pandolfo has missed 17 games since injuring his shoulder at Pittsburgh on Oct. 24. The 34-year-old left wing had a goal and an assist in nine games this season, but spoke Saturday about easing back into action.

"You just try to keep it simple," he said. "First game back you try to keep it simple and do the little things right. If you do that, you can kind of get into the game a little easier than if you try to do too much."

Pandolfo and Oduya took part with three others in the optional morning skate, joining Matt Corrente, Andrew Peters and Yann Danis. On Friday, New Jersey edged Tampa Bay, 3-2, on Jamie Langenbrunner's goal with 38.1 seconds left in regulation.

They visit Buffalo on Monday, then return for a five-game homestand that includes three games in four nights beginning Wednesday versus Carolina.

Pandolfo's eager to get back at it.

"Once you start getting past a couple weeks, you’re just itching to get back," he said. "But then, once you wait that long, you want to make sure you’re feeling pretty good."

Oduya missed 15 games with a lower body injury. Last season he was one of five Devils to play in every game, and he recorded career highs across the board with seven goals and 22 assists for 29 points.

The 28-year-old rearguard said it often takes time for players to regain their form.

"It’s the regular feel for the game that you would have when you play every night," he said. "It’s probably the toughest part, I think. But it’s something that will come with playing more games. I’m trying not to worry too much about that, just go out and play, work hard and have fun. Try to get a win."

Halischuk, 21, returns to the Devils' top affiliate after registering his first NHL goal and adding an assist in 20 appearances. He has been recalled twice this season, and had been up with New Jersey since Nov. 4.
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