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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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BLOG: Zacha Back to 100% After Injury Scare

After missing Friday's game due to a lower body injury, Pavel Zacha said he felt much better at Saturday's practice

by Marc Ciampa /

The Devils had a surprise change to their lineup on Friday when Pavel Zacha was unable to play against the Maple Leafs. He took part of the morning skate but then left the ice. 

"I didn't feel 100%. I did some stretches and didn't feel 100%. I talked to the coaching staff and said I was 80% ready. I tried to get better to see if it could work and it didn't," said Zacha. 

The center took warm-ups as well but it didn't help. 

Video: INJURY UPDATE | Pavel Zacha

"I got tight in my lower back and it started to hurt in a certain spot and I couldn't skate at 100%."

After a night of sleep and treatment, he said he can feel the improvement. 

"I feel way better today," he said. "I can skate without any thinking that something's wrong with me. I wanted to go out on the ice and not be worried that something could happen. Hopefully I can play (tomorrow)."

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BLOG: Domingue Assigned to Binghamton

The Devils have assigned Louis Domingue to Binghamton of the American Hockey League

by Chris Wescott TheChrisWescott /

The New Jersey Devils have announced they have activated goaltender Louis Domingue off Injured Reserve. He has also been assigned to the Binghamton Devils in the American Hockey League.

Domingue has played in six games for the Devils since being acquired via trade on Nov. 1. He has a 4.15 goals-against average and .862 save percentage in those outings. He was injured Dec. 13 in Colorado and left the game after stopping 15 of 17 shots.

Earlier this season, Domingue played in four games for Binghamton. He recorded a 2.25 GAA and a .918 save percentage. 

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BLOG: Cormier Recalled; Domingue Placed on IR

Cormier has yet to appear in an NHL game in his career

by Marc Ciampa /

The Devils announced today that goaltender Evan Cormier would be recalled from Adirondack of the ECHL. Cormier has played in six games for the Thunder this season, with a 2-1-3 record, 2.71 goals-against average and .902 save percentage. He's also played seven games with Binghamton (AHL) with a 1-5-1 record, 3.77 goals-against average and .884 save percentage.

Louis Domingue has been placed on injured reserve after suffering a lower body injury midway through Friday night's game against the Colorado Avalanche.

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BLOG: Hischier Activated off IR; White Re-Assigned to Binghamton

Devils center returns to the lineup tonight

by Marc Ciampa /

The Devils announced today that Nico Hischier has been activated off injured reserve. 

In order to make room on the 23-man roster, the club re-assigned blueliner Colton White to Binghamton of the AHL. 

The 20-year-old Hischier has five goals and 16 points in 25 games this season. 

White didn't get into any games during his recall but did play three last season for the Devils. 

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BLOG: Hischier Hopes to be Ready for Avalanche

After missing three games due to illness, the Devils center is looking to return to the lineup

by Marc Ciampa /

WESTMINSTER, CO - Devils center Nico Hischier practiced with the team for the first time since being pulled from the lineup last Friday against the Chicago Blackhawks. He skated on a line with Mike McLeod and John Hayden. 

"After laying in bed for a few days, it's always hard to be on the ice but it was fun. It was nice to be around the boys again. It felt good to be out there," Hischier stated. 

"Nobody wants to be out. You want to help the team. Now I'm back though and I'm looking forward to tomorrow. I'm feeling pretty good now. Didn't do much the last few days. It was good to be on the ice and get a sweat and should be good to go tomorrow."

Devils interim head coach Alain Nasreddine said he expects Hischier to be in the lineup but it'll be up to the medical staff ultimately. 

"He plays in all situations, first-line plays against other team's top line so it was a big loss for us," Nasreddine stated. "He seems like he's fine. He looked great but I haven't talked to the medical staff."

Video: INJURY UPDATE | Nico Hischier

P.K. Subban echoed the thoughts of his coach in praising Hischier.

"He's a great player and has elite talent. Whenever you can have elite talent in your lineup, it's gonna help you win hockey games. And that's what we're looking to do here. We've got a big back-to-back and we'd love to end this road trip on a high note."

As for what the illness was, Hischier said it wasn't an ordinary flu. 

"I got the flu but it was something with bacteria as well. It wasn't just a flu they said. That's why it took a little bit longer than I thought."

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BLOG: Hughes Getting Healthy

Jack Hughes skated with the team on Thursday after missing the last three games due to injury

by Marc Ciampa /

Jack Hughes skated with the Devils on Thursday after missing three games due to injury after blocking a shot in Montreal.

"I feel good. Body feels pretty good and I feel like I'm right there and ready to go for tomorrow night," said Hughes. 

After blocking the shot, he continued to play in the game but when the skate was removed post-game, that's when he felt some pain and couldn't get his skate back on. 

Video: INJURY UPDATE | Jack Hughes

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