NEWARK, N.J. --
Despite missing the majority of the regular season with an Achilles injury, New Jersey Devils
forward Travis Zajac
admits he's feeling as good as ever.
The 26-year-old top-line center was limited to just 15 games by a sore left Achilles tendon during the regular season. He had surgery in August, missed training camp and didn't play until Dec. 16, only to be sidelined again after playing against Ottawa on Jan. 2.
Zajac is certainly glad to be part of the team at an important time in the season.
"I feel like nothing is holding me back on the ice, whether I'm bumping or turning … anything like that," Zajac told NHL.com. "I don't feel anything, and that's a positive. There's no pain or soreness or anything like afterwards, either, so I'm good. It's playoff hockey, so I think there's going to be a few guys playing through injuries during this time of the year."
In two playoff games, Zajac has one goal and a team-leading 65.6 percent efficiency on faceoffs, winning 21 of 32 draws.
Zajac was asked what the Devils need to correct in Game 3 in order to regain the series lead.
"We need to stay off the penalty-kill … we took some unnecessary penalties [in Game 2], but other than that we need to take the play to them," Zajac said. "I think we're good when we're aggressive and controlling the play. We're not a fancy team by any means, and our skill will take over when we get the puck down low and make plays down there. So that's where we have to make the plays against them."
Zajac also believes it's only a matter of time before linemate Zach Parise
is rewarded with a goal for all his hard work.
"I think he's had plenty of shots, but Zach does it all," Zajac said. "He's not scoring, but he does a lot of good things away from the puck in the defensive zone. He has so much skill, the goals will come. The thing is, everyone has to contribute this time of year to help him out."