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Salvador hopes to return for Devils

by Mike G. Morreale
NEWARK, N.J. -- After missing the last two games of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the Carolina Hurricanes with a lower-body injury, New Jersey Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador looked sharp and determined during an early skate on Monday at Prudential Center.

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Salvador, who was replaced on defense by Andy Greene, won't know if he'll be penciled into the lineup until after the team's morning skate on Tuesday. Only five players participated in Monday's optional skate in Newark, including Salvador and backup goalie Scott Clemmensen, following the club's 4-0 setback to the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 6 on Sunday.

The Devils will play host to the Hurricanes at Prudential Center in the seventh and deciding game of this series on Tuesday.

"Decisions on our players will be made tomorrow when we make our lineup," Devils coach Brent Sutter said during Monday's media scrum. "We'll just have to see what happens. We need everyone to be playing their best, so we'll see."

Greene, who didn't dress for the first four games of the series before being pressed into action following Salvador's knee ailment in Game 4, has certainly made a good account of himself. His power-play shot was tipped in by David Clarkson in Game 5 for the only goal in a 1-0 victory and he was named the game's third star.

"I feel good," Salvador said. "It'll be a game-time decision but it was a really good skate (on Monday). It was good to get a good workout in."

"I feel good.  It'll be a game-time decision but it was a really good skate (on Monday). It was good to get a good workout in." -- Bryce Salvador on his possible return to the lineup for Game 7
Salvador played in 76 games during the regular season, missing one game in November with a bruised foot and five in December with an inner ear infection. He had 3 goals and 16 points in the regular season and had no points and minus-3 rating before suffering his injury in the postseason.

"It was obviously tough to watch on Sunday; we didn't win but that's why it's a seven-game series and it's been a great series," Salvador said. "There have been four one-goal games and we're excited to be back home with our fans. We've been thinking about the last game and it's kind of the way the whole series has gone, back and forth, but we know have a good chance to close it out in front of our fans."
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