NEWARK – While Taylor Hall and Kyle Palmieri returned to the Devils’ lineup in Monday night’s 5-3 win over the Ducks at Prudential Center, Marcus Johansson, the third injured top-six forward, will likely be back on Thursday night against the visiting Rangers.
Johansson missed his fourth game with an ankle bruise and remains on injured reserve but participated in the Devils’ optional morning skate.
“We’re aiming for Thursday,” said Johansson, who has four goals and three assists in 15 games after being acquired from the Capitals in the offseason and also missed 13 games in November because of a concussion.
“It gets old sitting on the sidelines,” added Johansson, injured blocking a shot in a 5-2 loss to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 9. “I just want to get out there and play. I want to be a big part of it. You want to do what you love. But to get a few more days to get ready and get maybe to 100 percent, hopefully that will do the trick.”
Johansson said he is still dealing with some lingering pain.
Adam Henrique faces range of emotions in first game against Devils
Devils getting close to being at full strength
The Devils would need to open a spot on the 23-man roster to activate Johansson off injured reserve.
Forward Joey Anderson, 19, a third-round pick of the Devils in 2016 and a sophomore at Minnesota-Duluth, was named the captain of the U.S. Junior National Team for the upcoming World Junior Championships at Buffalo, N.Y. Dec. 26-Jan. 5.
“That was exciting for us as an organization,” Devils coach John Hynes said. “When you have your prospects be able to come in and play in high pressure situations it’s always a good thing but then to be voted captain of a World Junior team, it’s impressive for Joey.”
New Jersey Devils center Joseph Blandisi (64) celebrates
New Jersey Devils center Joseph Blandisi (64) celebrates his goal against the New York Rangers during the second period of a preseason NHL hockey game in Newark, N.J., Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. (Photo: Rich Schultz, AP)
Right wing Jimmy Hayes was the spare forward and defensemen Ben Lovejoy and Dalton Prout remained healthy scratches. Prout was scratched for the 21st straight game and he could possibly be re-assigned to Binghamton (AHL) – if he clears waivers – when the Devils activate Johansson. …Ex-Devil Joseph Blandisi, sent to the Ducks on Nov. 30 along with Adam Henrique in exchange for Sami Vatanen, was a healthy scratch for the second straight game after being sidelined the previous four with an upper-body injury.