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Wedgewood starts for Devils against Blue Jackets

Goalie joins defenseman Mozik in NHL debuts

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

BLUE JACKETS (29-34-8) at DEVILS (34-31-7)

TV: 5 p.m. ET; FS-O, MSG+, NHL.TV

NEWARK, N.J. -- Goaltender Scott Wedgewood and defenseman Vojtech Mozik will each make their NHL debuts when the New Jersey Devils face the Columbus Blue Jackets at Prudential Center on Sunday

Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid had started the past six games after Cory Schneider sustained a Grade 1 sprain of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee on March 4. Schneider faced shots Sunday at Prudential Center for the first time since the injury and could return to practice this week.

Goalie Yann Danis was returned to Albany to make room for Wedgewood. The Devils have allowed 17 goals in the past three games and Kinkaid has been pulled twice in that span.

"Right now we collective feel we have to do a better job keeping the puck out of the net; that's coaching, playing, defense, goaltender, the whole combination," Devils coach John Hynes said. "The other side of it is we believe in competition when guys have to perform at a certain level to have jobs. The have a team in Albany that's played really well this year and the guys that have come up have done a good job, so right now we're not satisfied totally with what's going on in net right now and we want it to be competition."

Wedgewood, selected in the third round (No. 84) of the 2010 NHL Draft, and Mozik were recalled from Albany of the American Hockey League on Sunday. Wedgewood is 9-2-3 with a 1.69 goals-against average, one shutout and .928 save percentage in 16 games for Albany. 

Mozik, signed to an entry-level contract in June 2015, has two goals, 13 points and a plus-26 rating in 49 games for Albany.

The Blue Jackets counter with rookie goaltender Joonas Korpisalo, who is 14-8-4 this season. Sergei Bobrovsky made 27 saves in a 6-3 win against the Devils on Saturday for his 12th win in 31 games.

Columbus is 14-26-4 with all other goaltenders.

"I know [the Devils] are looking for a really good start to get going in their building," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "We need to be even more prepared to play. Bobrovsky is an elite athlete and this back-to-back stuff didn't really concern me. I just want to see [Korpisalo] playing again and keep him going."

The Blue Jackets (66 points) are in last place in the Metropolitan Division, but have outscored the Devils 17-6 in four wins against them this season. The Devils trail the Detroit Red Wings by eight points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

Here are the projected lineups:

BLUE JACKETS

Scott Hartnell - Brandon Dubinsky - Nick Foligno

Brandon Saad - Boone Jenner - Cam Atkinson

Matt Calvert - Jared Boll - Oliver Bjorkstrand

William Karlsson - Michael Chaput - Gregory Campbell

David Savard - Seth Jones

Ryan Murray - Cody Goloubef

Fedor Tyutin - Dalton Prout

Joonas Korpisalo

Sergei Bobrovsky

Scratched: Rene Bourque, Alexander Wennberg, Justin Falk

Injured: Jack Johnson (shoulder), David Clarkson (back). Curtis McElhinney (knee)

DEVILS

Tyler Kennedy - Adam Henrique - Devante Smith-Pelly

Reid Boucher - Travis Zajac - Kyle Palmieri

Joseph Blandisi - Sergey Kalinin - Mike Sislo

Bobby Farnham - Stephen Gionta - Tuomo Ruutu

Andy Greene - Adam Larsson

John Moore - Vojtech Mozik

Seth Helgeson - Damon Severson

Scott Wedgewood

Keith Kinkaid

Injured: Patrik Elias (right knee), Jiri Tlusty (right wrist), Michael Cammalleri (right hand), Cory Schneider(right knee), Jordin Tootoo (upper body), Jacob Josefson (hand), David Schlemko (upper body), Jon Merrill (upper body)

Scratched: David Warsofsky, Brian O'Neill

Status report: McElhinney, injured in practice Friday, will have arthroscopic knee surgery Monday and will miss the rest of the season. ... Cammalleri, Josefson and Tootoo and defenseman Schlemko skated Sunday; Hynes said Cammalleri and Elias are doubtful to play again this season. Josefson will miss the next 10-14 days; Tootoo is out this week; Schlemko is doubtful all week; Merrill will be re-evaluated on Monday or Tuesday. 

Who's hot: Atkinson has six goals and eight points in the past eight games and leads the Blue Jackets with an NHL career-high 25 goals and 46 points. … Palmieri has four goals and nine points in the past eight games.

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