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Devils forward Cammalleri hopes to return Tuesday

by Mike G. Morreale

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils left wing Mike Cammalleri hopes to return to the lineup against the Calgary Flames at Prudential Center on Tuesday.

Cammalleri has missed the past eight games with a hand injury he sustained at some point in a 3-0 win at the Ottawa Senators on Dec. 30. Despite his absence Cammalleri still leads the Devils with 35 points (14 goals, 21 assists) in 38 games.

"I tried some medical procedures to get back quicker, get some strength back and reduce the pain but I was unable to do it," Cammalleri said. "It's good to be back out there though and I hope to be in the lineup [Tuesday], but ultimately I don't make that decision."

Devils coach John Hynes said he wants to see how Cammalleri responds to practice on Monday. The coaching staff will reevaluate after the morning skate on Tuesday.

"I've been skating (while out of the lineup) in New Jersey," Cammalleri said. "I felt good after practice (on Monday) and I feel like I could go into the lineup, but we'll see [Tuesday]."

Hynes said defenseman Jon Merrill will not play against the Flames. He sustained an undisclosed injury in a 2-0 win at the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday. Forward Jacob Josefson, who hasn't skated with the team since taking a shot off his left foot during a morning skate on Dec. 29, returned to practice Monday, working on the line with left wing Joe Blandisi and center Travis Zajac.

Devils right wing Kyle Palmieri, who limped off the ice after a 2-0 win against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday, took a maintenance day on Monday but Hynes anticipates he will be in the lineup against the Flames. Palmieri, who leads the Devils with a career-high 18 goals, took a slap shot by Max Domi off the inside of his right knee with 1:14 left in the third period when the Coyotes had goaltender Anders Lindback on the bench for a sixth attacker.

With Palmieri missing from practice, Cammalleri skated with center Adam Henrique and right wing Lee Stempniak on the top line.


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