The moment the Devils have been waiting for has arrived. Taylor Hall returns to game action after an injury limited his season to 33 games last year.
The star forward is ready to hit the ice, on a line with Jack Hughes and Kyle Palmieri.
"It's exciting," said Hall. "It's been a long time coming and I had a lot of time to think about getting back to playing and you take it in steps. First, it's just getting back to skating and skating well and skating hard and then training camp comes and I was hoping that I'd be in a position to play this soon and I'm thankful that I am."
Hall says there may be a little nervous energy when he steps onto the ice.
"Little bit of nervousness even though it's an exhibition game," he said. "You haven't played in so long that there's going to be a little bit of nervous energy there, but hopefully I can use that to my advantage and come out and work on a few things and just play as well as I can. I'm not expecting a fabulous game by any means but work hard in the right areas and see if I can have a puck as much as possible."
Hall's teammates are excited to have him back.
"It's awesome," said Kyle Palmieri. "I mean, obviously, I sit next to him and it's good to see him getting back into things and he's obviously looked great so far in camp, so get into some game action and I know he's looking forward to it."
WHAT A LINE
What a combination.
That's the projected top line for the Devils tonight versus the Rangers. And even more impressive is the look of the team's top power-play unit.
Hall, Jack Hughes, Palmieri, Wayne Simmonds and P.K. Subban. If that group stays intact, there is a lot of firepower.
Hall wasn't expecting being able to play with the 2019 first-overall pick, as he thought he'd spend the majority of his time with Nico Hischier as his center. But Hall is excited about playing with Hughes tonight.
"To be on the ice with him for the last few practices and to see his skill level firsthand, wearing a Devils Jersey… It's going to be fun to play with him tonight," said Hall.
-- Chris Wescott, NewJerseyDevils.com
NEW JERSEY DEVILS
29 Mackenzie Blackwood 31 Gilles Senn
6 Andy Greene 7 Matt Tennyson 32 Dakota Mermis 40 Josh Jacobs 71 Colby Sissons 75 Jeremy Groleau 76 P.K. Subban
9 Taylor Hall 14 Joey Anderson 17 Wayne Simmonds 19 Travis Zajac 20 Blake Coleman 21 Kyle Palmieri 36 Ben Street 41 Michael McLeod 46 Blake Speers 51 Brandon Gignac 53 Yegor Sharangovich 67 Marian Studenic 86 Jack Hughes
NEW YORK RANGERS
30 Henrik Lundqvist 32 Adam Huska
18 Marc Staal 51 Tarmo Reunanen 54 Mason Geertsen 55 Ryan Lindgren 70 Joe Morrow 82 Joey Keane
16 Ryan Strome 17 Jesper Fast 21 Brett Howden 28 Philip Di Giuseppe 29 Steven Fogarty 34 Patrick Newell 37 Gabriel Fontaine 38 Micheal Haley 72 Filip Chytil 89 Pavel Buchnevich 90 Vladislav Namestnikov 95 Vinni Lettieri