New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider said he's ready to start against the Florida Panthers (7:30 p.m. ET; MSG+ 2, FS-F, NHL.TV) on Thursday, according to Northjersey.com. Coach John Hynes said he will determine after the morning skate whether Schneider plays for the first time since sustaining an MCL sprain March 4 against the Dallas Stars.
The Devils activated Schneider off injured reserve and assigned goaltender Scott Wedgewood to Albany of the American Hockey League on Wednesday, indicating Schneider would at the very least dress for the Panthers game. Wedgewood and Keith Kinkaid combined to start 11 games in Schneider's absence, leading the Devils to a 6-4-1 record.
Schneider practiced Monday with Albany and each of the past two days with the Devils, whose two-game Florida trip concludes Saturday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
"Whether I play [Thursday] or Saturday we still haven't determined, but I believe I should be available for both games," Schneider told Northjersey.com.
Injured forwards Jacob Josefson and Tyler Kennedy, and injured defenseman David Schlemko will all make the trip.
Injured forward Patrik Elias, who had arthroscopic knee surgery and hasn't played since Dec. 19, could return for the Devils' season-ending three-game homestand, which begins April 5 against the Buffalo Sabres.
Video: NJD@MTL: Elias redirects Larsson?s shot past Condon
Elias, the Devils' all-time leading scorer, turns 40 on April 13 and will be an unrestricted free agent July 1. He told Northjersey.com he won't make a decision on his future immediately after the season and plans to train as if he'll play during the 2016-17 season.
"You see him out there right now and he's as good if not better than most of the other guys who are out there as far as work ethic and speed and fitness. So he has that and we'll see where it goes from here," Hynes told reporter Tom Gulitti. "He's put the work in. I think there's a drive for him to play, and I think if Patrik Elias is in your lineup, he's going to help you."