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Vesey Back on the Ice | INJURY REPORT

Jimmy Vesey returned to practice on Monday, looking to play in a game or two before the end of the season

by Marc Ciampa /

Earlier this month, Jimmy Vesey was injured in a game against the Rangers. It looked serious as he had to be helped off the ice -- and was serious -- but Vesey is thankful that he'll have the opportunity to hit the ice before the season runs out on Friday. 

"It was a little scary. I thought something was seriously wrong but lucked out and it was just a bone bruise. I thought it was going to be worse so fortunate to be back and with the team. It feels good," said Vesey. 

"The pain right away was pretty significant. That's why I thought there was something seriously wrong. It's good to hear the news that it wasn't anything major. The time off has been more to let the swelling go down and get range of motion back. With the team going on the long road trip right after, it didn't make sense for me to go."

Video: Jimmy Vesey | INJURY UPDATE 4.25.22

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Blackwood Ready to Return | INJURY REPORT

Devils goaltender is expected to get into two of the team's remaining three games

by Marc Ciampa /

Devils head coach Lindy Ruff said on Sunday that goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood would play in two of the final three games of the season if all goes well, starting tomorrow in Ottawa. 

"It's been a demanding year on him from the standpoint of what he's had to deal with. For him to be able to get back and play a couple of games with the group is important. For himself and for the team. It's great to see him get back between the pipes," said Ruff. 

"He's worked hard. It hasn't been a smooth road to get him there. Just to continue down that path, the number of games we have left, we could say it's not worth trying to battle to get these couple but he's ready to get back in."

Blackwood talked about the struggles he's had, with a heel injury that started with surgery this past offseason. 

Video: Blackwood's Back All Right | DEVILS NOW

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Hischier Feeling Ready to Go | INJURY REPORT

After missing three games due to injury, Nico Hischier feels ready to take the ice tomorrow in Vancouver

by Marc Ciampa /

VANCOUVER - The Devils just completed a strong four-game homestand in which they won three out of four games. They had to do so mostly without their captain, Nico Hischier, who was sidelined for the final three games. 

The good news is that Hischier made the trip out west, flying with the team to Vancouver on Sunday. On Monday afternoon, he was skating on a line with Jimmy Vesey and Pavel Zacha and not wearing a non-contact jersey. 

All good signs. 

Video: Nico Hischier | INJURY UPDATE 3.14.22

As is tradition, Devils head coach Lindy Ruff was optimistic but not confirming Hischier's status on Tuesday

It was good "to have him back in a regular jersey," Ruff began. "We'll see how tomorrow goes. Practicing today gives him a chance to play."

Hischier was even more hopeful. 

"I felt fine," he said. "Good to be back in practice, felt good."

It was tough for Hischier to be in the pressbox watching the past three games. 

"Not great," he said. "I wasn't playing for a bit for sure but I feel fine now. It's doable (to play tomorrow) for sure."

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Johnsson Recovered | INJURY REPORT

Andreas Johnsson is set to return to the Devils lineup on Thursday after missing two games

by Marc Ciampa /

The break in games couldn't have come at a better time for Devils forward Andreas Johnsson, who missed two games just prior to the schedule pause. 

"Just trying to get back as quick as possible," Johnsson said of his mindset. "It wasn't that big because I left the game (early) so it didn't have a chance to become too big. It was good to rest these two games."

In addition to the break between games, Johnsson has been a full participant in a handful of practices, including several that were an hour long during the period of times. He talked about how he was able to test his injury quite a bit with all the time on ice. 

"Turning around, cutbacks. I know I can test every angle of it so now it's good."

Johnsson is aware of the task ahead of the team now, with a lot of games between now and the end of the season starting with back-to-back games and four games in five days to really get the legs going. 

"We've got to take advantage of these days off. Everyone is recharged now. We've had some good practices and now it's time to get back into it."

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Jack Hughes Status Update | INJURY UPDATE

The Devils have an update on the dislocated shoulder of Jack Hughes

by New Jersey Devils PR / New Jersey Devils

As indicated last week, Jack Hughes met with Devils head orthopedic surgeon and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jonathan L. Glashow for his one-week re-evaluation. In that follow up, it was determined that his left shoulder dislocation is stable, there are no unforeseen issues, and he is on course with his rehabilitation program.
Following that evaluation, it has been determined that the Devils Medical and Athlete Care Staff will continue working with Jack, and his status on return to action will be re-evaluated in five weeks. Based upon how he progresses, any adjustments in timeline will be made accordingly.

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Blackwood About 'A Week Away' | INJURY REPORT

Mackenzie Blackwood talked about his recovery from offseason heel surgery nearing a close

by Marc Ciampa /

Mackenzie Blackwood took another step closer to returning on Friday as he continued to have some reps on-ice with his teammates. For Blackwood, being able to skate with his teammates is a further test to the heel he had surgery on this past summer. 

"It's one thing to be going out there and doing controlled goalie movements but when you get back out there with the team and have guys who can shoot the way these guys do, it's a totally different beast," Blackwood said after practice. 

Video: Mackenzie Blackwood | INJURY UPDATE 10.29.21

So far, he's been passing this test with flying colors. 

"I've been pushing myself to be back as quick as I can and I'm getting on track," he said. "Starting to feel back to my top form. I was okay last week but the jump from last week to this week has been great. I'm really close to coming back."

Blackwood played in the preseason for the Devils, though that was more about testing to see where his heel was at rather than his latest absence being a setback in recovery. 

"I knew I wasn't really ready to be coming back to play right after the preseason," he began. "I just wanted to test it out and see where I was at and judge what I needed to rehab and what I needed to feel to be back to normal. It was really pushing through my toe that was causing a lot pain in the back of my heel but in the last few weeks that's really improved."

Devils head coach Lindy Ruff confirmed that Blackwood won't be playing tomorrow in Pittsburgh but Blackwood himself said that he felt he'd be back between the pipes within a week which means a California trip season debut is likely. 

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TRAINING CAMP: Blackwood Injury Update

Devils goaltender left practice early on Friday

by Marc Ciampa /

Devils head coach Lindy Ruff provided an update on goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood, who left practice early on Friday after sustaining a minor injury. 

"He had a real good day today," Ruff noted, adding he wasn't sure if Blackwood would play in Sunday's Camp Game. "We're just approaching it day-to-day. I'm assuming tomorrow is going to be a better day. We're gonna make a decision then whether he participates."

While Blackwood didn't take part in the group practice, he wasn't off the ice entirely. He was part of the goaltenders group early in the morning with goalie coach Dave Rogalski and skated for around 20 minutes. 

Tweet from @amandacstein: 🥅 #NJDevils Mackenzie Blackwood was out on the ice this morning working with goalie coach Dave Rogalski. Blackwood was out there for about 20-25 minutes. He is not participating in today���s Group A practice session.

"I had a conversation with him where he felt a lot better today than he did yesterday," Ruff added. 

"So I think he's really close to returning to full practice for us."

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BLOG: Devils Recall Merkley, Place Vatanen on IR

Vatanen's IR placement is retroactive to February 1

by Chris Wescott TheChrisWescott /

The Devils have placed defenseman Sami Vatanen on Injured Reserve, retroactive to Feb. 1. Vatanen suffered a right leg injury from blocking a shot.

Tweet from @NJDevils: #NJDEVILS NEWS: New Jersey has placed D Sami Vatanen (bruised right leg from blocking a shot) on injured reserve, retroactive to 2/1/2020.The club has recalled Nick Merkley from Binghamton (AHL). He has been assigned #39.

The club also recalled forward Nick Merkley from the Binghamton Devils of the American Hockey League. He has been assigned number 39.

Merkley was acquired in the Taylor Hall trade on Dec. 16. Since joining the Devils organization, Merkley has seven goals and 11 assists in 21 AHL games.

The Devils take on the Detroit Red Wings tonight at Prudential Center.

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BLOG: Nasreddine Provides Updates on Hischier, Vatanen

Both players have been out of the lineup for three games now

by Marc Ciampa /

Devils interim head coach Alain Nasreddine gave the latest update on forward Nico Hischier and defenseman Sami Vatanen, both of whom have been out of the lineup since last Tuesday's game against Montreal with lower-body injuries.

"He didn't skate this morning. It's still pretty painful," Nasreddine said of Sami Vatanen. 

Vatanen had skated on Saturday, which was a promising sign, though Nasreddine was quick to say that him not being out there today isn't necessarily a setback. 

"Pre-game skates aren't that intense so he was able to do that," Nasreddine noted. "Today was not much improvement from two days ago. It's not that serious, just a matter of time."

Hischier did not skate on Saturday but did find himself on the ice today, though not with the team.

"He skated this morning so that's a good sign. Nothing long term, just see how he progresses but he's inching closer."

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BLOG: Injury Updates on Palmieri and Subban

Kyle Palmieri skated on Tuesday after a minor injury scare in Ottawa while Subban was not on the ice due to illness

by Marc Ciampa /

The Devils skated at RWJ Barnabas Health Hockey House on Tuesday on the heels of Monday's victory. 

Building off the win, they had some good news in the form of injured or ill skaters. 

Kyle Palmieri was on the ice in his usual spot on the top line with Jesper Bratt and Nico Hischier. 

"Just a little banged up. Got some treatment," Palmieri said. "You don't have much time before the bus leaves so had some time to take care of it."

Video: RAW | Kyle Palmieri

The other item to note was P.K. Subban did not skate. Connor Carrick was in his spot on the right side with Andy Greene. 

"It's just very minor. We'd rather be safe than sorry. Nothing contagious, either, but he was dehydrated," Devils interim head coach Alain Nasreddine said about his blueliner. 

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