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Jets' Kane to return to lineup vs. Devils

by Mike G. Morreale

JETS (4-5-0) at DEVILS (4-3-2)


NEWARK, N.J. -- Winnipeg Jets left wing Evander Kane will return to the lineup for the first time since the season opener when the Jets play the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Thursday.

Kane, who has missed the past eight games after sustaining a knee injury in the first period of a victory against the Arizona Coyotes on Oct. 9, practiced fully with the team Wednesday and again Thursday at Prudential Center.

"I'm ready to go and looking forward to it," Kane said. "I'm just looking for a good start and hoping to make it through the first two minutes this time; everything will take care of itself after that."

Kane was hurt in the first period against the Coyotes when he collided with linemate Mark Scheifele. Kane, Scheifele and right wing Blake Wheeler skated as a line during practice.

The next goal Kane scores will be No. 100 in his NHL career. He has 200 points and 329 penalty minutes in 325 games with the Atlanta Thrashers/Jets.

Kane has nine goals and 11 points in 17 games against the Devils, and will be a welcomed addition to the Jets' power play, which ranks 25th in the League with a 9.4-percent success rate (3-for-32).

"I played with [Scheifele and Wheeler] in the preseason and we should be able to produce the way we want to," Kane said. "I actually said when I got hurt in Arizona that I'd be back in three weeks and I'm happy to meet that goal."

Devils goalie Cory Schneider knows the addition of Kane will bolster the Jets' offense.

"He's a guy you have to keep tabs on; he's explosive, has speed and can make plays so you have to be aware of those guys all over the ice," Schneider said. "He adds a different dimension to their team so we have to know when he's out there."

Devils coach Peter DeBoer agreed.

"He's a key guy for them; a lot of speed and one of the premier power forwards in the League," DeBoer said. "I'm sure he'll come back motivated and ready to play and want to prove something."

Jets coach Paul Maurice said defenseman Zach Bogosian, who missed the victory against the New York Islanders on Tuesday at Nassau Coliseum with an upper-body injury, will be a game-time decision. He didn't participate in line rushes during the morning skate.

The Jets are playing the second of a four-game road trip that continues Saturday at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers. The Devils are playing the first of a three-game homestand seeking their first victory at Prudential Central this season (0-1-2). The Devils have lost five of their past six games (1-3-2) after beginning the season with three straight wins.

The Devils again will be without forwards Mike Cammalleri (jaw), Martin Havlat (lower body) and Jordin Tootoo (foot). The Devils are coming off an 8-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center on Tuesday.

"I don't think anybody is really proud of the effort we put forth [in Pittsburgh]," Schneider said. "The best way is to just get back out there and play. It's good to be back home. I don't think we've had a successful start at home so we really want to come out, take advantage of home ice and play the way we want to play."

Here are the projected lineups:


Evander Kane - Mark Scheifele - Blake Wheeler

Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Michael Frolik

Mathieu Perreault - Adam Lowry - Dustin Byfuglien

TJ Galiardi - Jim Slater - Chris Thorburn

Toby Enstrom - Zach Bogosian

Mark Stuart - Jacob Trouba

Paul Postma - Grant Clitsome

Ondrej Pavelec

Michael Hutchinson

Scratched: Patrice Cormier, Adam Pardy

Injured: Anthony Peluso (upper body)


Dainius Zubrus - Travis Zajac - Jaromir Jagr

Ryane Clowe - Patrik Elias - Damien Brunner

Reid Boucher - Adam Henrique - Michael Ryder

Tuomo Ruutu - Jacob Josefson - Stephen Gionta

Andy Greene - Damon Severson

Bryce Salvador - Marek Zidlicky

Adam Larsson - Jon Merrill

Cory Schneider

Scott Clemmensen

Scratched: Eric Gelinas

Injured: Mike Cammalleri (jaw), Martin Havlat (lower body), Jordin Tootoo (foot)

Status report: A decision on whether Bogosian will be in the lineup will be determined after pregame warmups. If he can't play, Enstrom likely will be paired with Postma and Clitsome with Pardy. … New Jersey placed Havlat on injured reserve Monday, retroactive to Oct. 21. Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said he expects Havlat and Tootoo, also on IR retroactive to Oct. 21, to begin skating soon. There was no update provided by DeBoer on Cammalleri.

Who's hot: Little has two goals and six points in his past four games … Enstrom has four assists and a plus-2 rating in his past four games. … Jagr has two power-play goals and five points in his past five games.


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