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At the Rink: Panthers at Devils

by Dan Rosen /

NEWARK, N.J. -- Florida Panthers right wing Jaromir Jagr will play Thursday against the New Jersey Devils (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, FS-F) after missing one game because of an illness. Jagr didn't play in the Panthers 5-1 win against the New York Islanders at Barclays Center on Tuesday.

Jagr prepared to play against the Devils by putting himself through a rigorous workout Wednesday at Prudential Center.

"Especially me, I don't like to miss any days, so if I miss three days it's like a month for me," Jagr said. "Probably that's in my head, but it's my head, though, so that's all that matters. I'm glad I did it [Wednesday]. It's my experience. If you're tired and you say tomorrow you're going to feel better, that's the biggest lie you can tell yourself. Trust me, you're going to feel a lot worse than you felt today."

Jagr, who is tied for the Panthers lead in goals (nine) and points (21), needs one goal to pass Marcel Dionne for fourth on the NHL's all-time scoring list. He is tied with Dionne with 731 NHL goals. Dionne has been in the top four for 32 years.

Jagr needs 10 goals to tie Brett Hull for third on the all-time NHL scoring list behind Wayne Gretzky (894) and Gordie Howe (801).

"Right now, I don't play the game just to break records, I play because I like it, I enjoy it, I have a lot of fun doing it," Jagr said. "Sometimes it's hard because it's challenging and sometimes you give your best and the result is not there, but you wake up the next morning and you try again. That's what is still motivating me and I still love it. This is the real reason why I play the game. Maybe when I retire I'll look back and say, 'Oh, I did pretty good,' but I'm not going to say it right now because at least in my head I'm not ready to leave the game."

Panthers goalie Al Montoya will get the start against the Devils, who counter with Cory Schneider. Montoya has won his past two starts, allowing two goals on 44 shots. He has a 1.91 goals-against average and .929 save percentage in seven appearances this season.

Roberto Luongo said he will play Friday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

"[Montoya] has been outstanding for us this year," Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. "Our goaltending has been a strong point for our hockey club. It doesn't matter who you throw in there, they're playing good games for us."

Schneider is coming off a 25-save shutout in a 2-0 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.

Here are the projected lineups:


Jonathan Huberdeau - Aleksander Barkov - Jaromir Jagr

Brandon Pirri - Vincent Trocheck - Reilly Smith

Jussi Jokinen - Rocco Grimaldi - Logan Shaw

Shawn Thornton - Corban Knight - Quinton Howden

Willie Mitchell - Brian Campbell

Dmitry Kulikov - Aaron Ekblad

Dylan Olsen - Erik Gudbranson

Al Montoya

Roberto Luongo

Injured: Alex Petrovic (lower body), Nick Bjugstad (upper body), Steven Kampfer (lower body), Derek MacKenzie (lower body), Connor Brickley (undisclosed)

Scratched: None


Mike Cammalleri - Adam Henrique - Lee Stempniak

Jiri Tlusty - Jacob Josefson - Kyle Palmieri

Patrik Elias - Sergey Kalinin - Tyler Kennedy

Tuomo Ruutu - Stephen Gionta - Jordin Tootoo

Andy Greene - Adam Larsson

John Moore - Damon Severson

Jon Merrill - David Schlemko

Cory Schneider

Keith Kinkaid

Injured: Travis Zajac (upper body), Bobby Farnham (upper body)

Scratched: Eric Gelinas, Stefan Matteau

Status report: Ruutu will play his first game since Oct. 16. He has missed the past 27 games because of a fracture in his right foot. … Zajac will miss his seventh consecutive game. He could play Saturday against the Anaheim Ducks.

Who's hot: Stempniak has three goals and six points in the past seven games. Palmieri has six goals and eight points in the past nine games. … Ekblad has a three-game point streak and five points in his past five games. Barkov had three points, including a goal, in Florida's 5-1 win against the Islanders on Tuesday. Smith has goals in back-to-back games and three in his past four.


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