NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils forward Ryane Clowe will to return to the lineup for the first time in over two months Friday against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Prudential Center.
Clowe was skating on the fourth line with center Andrei Loktionov and Stephen Gionta during the team's morning skate at Prudential Center and declared himself ready to go.
"It'll be interesting to see how I feel [Friday] but as of right now I'm in," Clowe said. "I just want to get my legs going underneath me. I'm not going to do anything crazy out there but it'll be good to get back into it."
Clowe has been out since sustaining a concussion Oct. 13, his sixth game with the Devils after signing a five-year, $24.25 million deal during the summer.
He has one assist, five penalty minutes and a minus-5 rating in six games.
Clowe, noted for his physical play, was asked if he would have to approach the game any differently.
"It's hard to think that way," he said. "Physical play is a big element of my game. I think if I try to tip-toe around that and look at different ways to approach the game it will affect my game. So I have to, as much as I can, bury that in the back of my mind. To me, I'm just happy to be back. I feel good, and knock on wood I won't have to go through that again.
"I play with my head up usually and don't put myself in too many vulnerable positions so I don't want to think about the past."
Devils coach Peter DeBoer likely will ease Clowe back into the lineup.
"He's been out for a while and worked really hard at working himself and getting himself back into good shape and has done a ton of off-ice stuff," DeBoer said. "I don't think conditioning will be an issue but anytime you miss that kind of time he's missed and jump in at this point in the season, timing and things like that will be things he'll have to work through."
The Devils have lost the previous two games against the Blue Jackets in 2013-14, most recently a 5-4 loss Dec. 10 at Nationwide Arena.
The Blue Jackets enter Friday on a two-game winning streak and have scored 28 goals in the past seven games, a span that has seen them go 4-2-1. The organization never has had more than four players score at least 20 goals in a season, but five are on pace to do just that, led by center Ryan Johansen, who has 15 goals, and forwards Nick Foligno, Cam Atkinson, Artem Anisimov and R.J. Umberger, who each has 10.
Johansen, the No. 4 pick of the 2010 NHL Draft, is on pace to join Rick Nash and Geoff Sanderson as the only Blue Jackets with 30 goals in a season.
Here are the probable lineups for the Devils and Blue Jackets:
Dainius Zubrus - Travis Zajac - Jaromir Jagr
Mattias Tedenby - Patrik Elias - Steve Bernier
Reid Boucher - Adam Henrique - Michael Ryder
Ryane Clowe - Andrei Loktionov - Stephen Gionta
Andy Greene - Mark Fayne
Eric Gelinas - Marek Zidlicky
Anton Volchenkov - Jon Merrill
Scratched: Tim Sestito, Jacob Josefson, Cam Janssen
Injured: Bryce Salvador (foot), Adam Larsson (lower body), Peter Harrold (foot), Ryan Carter (lower body), Damien Brunner (knee)
Brandon Dubinsky - Artem Anisimov - Cam Atkinson
Nick Foligno - Ryan Johansen - RJ Umberger
Blake Comeau - Derek MacKenzie - Jack Skille
Boone Jenner - Mark Letestu - Corey Tropp
Fedor Tyutin - Jack Johnson
Ryan Murray - James Wisniewski
Nikita Nikitin - David Savard
Scratched: Tim Erixon
Injured: Sergei Bobrovsky (groin), Dalton Prout (upper body), Marian Gaborik (collarbone) Nathan Horton (left shoulder), Jared Boll (left foot), Matt Calvert (shoulder)