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Devils' Larsson recalled following injuries on defense

by Mike G. Morreale

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils defenseman Adam Larsson will be in the lineup for the first time in four months Monday when they play host to the Florida Panthers at Prudential Center (7:30 p.m. ET, RDS2, NBCSN).

Larsson, who was recalled from the Devils' American Hockey League affiliate in Albany on Sunday, was second among defensemen in scoring for Albany with 19 points (three goals, 16 assists) in 32 games. He will replace Jon Merrill in the lineup. Merrill is out with facial injuries sustained on Saturday during the third period of a shootout loss to the New York Islanders.

Larsson last played with New Jersey on Nov. 23, a 2-1 loss against the San Jose Sharks. He would sustain a lower-body injury against the Sharks, preventing him from returning to the lineup for an extended period. In 20 games with the Devils this season, he has three points, a minus-4 rating and eight penalty minutes.

"To be honest, it was my injury that messed me up this season," Larsson said. "But going down to Albany was great for me. I was able to play a lot of minutes and I tried to see it in a positive way.

"I made the drive from Albany [Sunday] night and was a little nervous this morning, but I'm looking forward to this."

Devils coach Peter DeBoer will likely have Larsson paired with former Albany partner Eric Gelinas to open the game. DeBoer will also insert center Jacob Josefson into the lineup for the injured Stephen Gionta (lower body).

Gelinas is looking forward to playing alongside Larsson once again.

"We were matched up [Monday] in the morning skate so I'm really happy for him," Gelinas said. "He's a great guy and good player, and I'm looking forward to playing with him again."

Goalie Martin Brodeur is the probable starter for the Devils. In 64 career games against the Panthers, Brodeur is 39-16-9 with a 2.03 goals-against average, six shutouts and .915 save percentage.

Florida coach Peter Horachek announced after his team's morning skate that goalie Dan Ellis would make his second straight start. Former Devils goalie Scott Clemmensen would then be the likely starter on Tuesday against the Islanders.

Goalie Roberto Luongo, who sustained a neck injury in a loss against the Carolina Hurricanes on March 27, did not travel with the team for its two-game road swing against the Devils and Islanders. Horachek is hoping Luongo will be available for the final five regular-season games, beginning Friday against the Calgary Flames.

Clemmensen spent seven seasons in the Devils organization and since leaving is 4-1-0 against New Jersey in six regular-season games with a 2.04 GAA and .935 save percentage.

Horachek was asked why he decided to give Ellis the nod on Monday.

"I don't know anything about the history and all that stuff," Horachek said. "It means very little to me. Ellis is here and Clemmer was recently recalled [from San Antonio of the AHL on March 29]. Ellis deserves an opportunity to get some back-to-back games and get the timing back. I think he's been a capable goalie."

Ellis is 1-2-0 with a 3.24 GAA and .875 save percentage in four career games against the Devils.

Here are the probable lineups for both teams:


Tomas Fleischmann - Vincent Trocheck - Scottie Upshall

Sean Bergenheim - Nick Bjugstad - Brad Boyes

Brandon Pirri - Jesse Winchester - Quinton Howden

Jimmy Hayes - Scott Gomez - Krys Barch

Colby Robak - Ed Jovanovski

Dmitry Kulikov - Brian Campbell

Dylan Olsen - Erik Gudbranson

Dan Ellis

Scott Clemmensen

Injured: Roberto Luongo (neck), Tomas Kopecky (concussion), Jonathan Huberdeau (upper body), Tom Gilbert (hernia surgery), Aleksander Barkov (knee), Alex Petrovic (upper body)


Ryane Clowe - Travis Zajac - Jaromir Jagr

Adam Henrique - Patrik Elias - Damien Brunner

Tuomo Ruutu - Dainius Zubrus - Michael Ryder

Ryan Carter - Jacob Josefson - Steve Bernier

Andy Greene - Mark Fayne

Peter Harrold - Marek Zidlicky

Eric Gelinas - Adam Larsson

Martin Brodeur

Cory Schneider

Scratched: Tim Sestito

Injured: Anton Volchenkov (lower body), Bryce Salvador (undisclosed), Jon Merrill (face), Stephen Gionta (lower body)

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