Martin Brodeur scratched himself from Sunday's game after feeling a twinge or a tweak or a pull (whatever language you prefer) in his back during warmups. Initially, the Devils called him day to day and said the injury wasn't believed to be serious. Brodeur sat out practice Tuesday and was sent to see a doctor.

Then, just before 5 p.m. ET, Brodeur became the third Devil to be place on injured reserve in the last two weeks. After a couple hours to think it over, I've come up with a few thoughts on the injury, the roster move and how this affects the Devils going forward...

Why so serious: The first question, obviously, is just how serious is the back injury? And subsequently, how much time will Brodeur legitimately miss? Lou Lamoriello says the doctor who examined Brodeur doesn't believe the injury is serious and the main reason behind him not playing Thursday has to do with the long plane ride to Winnipeg. OK, Lou. I'll bite. That's a fair point. As someone who has sat on a plane for more than two hours while also having a sore back, I can tell you that I was in much worse shape when I get off the plane than when I first boarded. So if there's absolutely no way the Devils want to risk aggravating the injury further by putting Marty on a plane, they still need a backup goalie in Winnipeg in case something happens to Johan Hedberg. But wait -- the Devils already added Hedberg's backup when they recalled Keith Kinkaid from Albany to take Jacob Josefson's spot. If it's all about roster flexibility for one game, mission accomplished, right? Not really -- and it comes back to something we already addressed on the blog: forward depth.

Unless Ryan Carter is activated tomorrow, the Devils only have 12 forwards, one of which is the "banged up" Stefan Matteau. If Carter doesn't feel well enough to return, then DeBoer is forced to roll a group of 12 forwards that includes Krys Barch and a wounded Matteau and if Matteau were to aggravate the injury or is unable to play his normal compliment of minutes, Pete DeBoer would either have to stretch out his top six guys or play the bottom two or three guys more minutes than he's comfortable with. But what about Pete Harrold, you say? Well, let's just cut to the chase on Harrold: He's a wasted roster space. The Devils have had plenty of opportunities to play him at wing but have repeatedly declined to do that. In the end, the Devils had no choice but to place Brodeur on IR and lose him for at least two games because of the way they've managed their roster up to this point by continuing to carry Harrold as the eight defenseman. If they had an extra forward on the NHL roster, they could have left Brodeur behind and waited to see how Carter felt. If he's healthy enough to return, then you place Brodeur on IR and give Carter the spot. Or, you could create a spot while avoiding Brodeur on IR by sending down that 13th forward as long as he doesn't have to clear waivers (Josefson). In that situation, DeBoer, hypothetically, could also pick 12 out of those 13 NHL forward and leave either Matteau or Barch on the bench. In the end, Brodeur was definitely going to miss tomorrow's game and the Devils were forced to lose him for Saturday as well because of their insistence of having eight defensemen on the NHL roster.

Trust factor: All of what I wrote above is contingent on the fact that you trust Lou. And I'm not using trust in the sense that Lou has suddenly lost his ability to be one of the best general managers in the NHL. I'm asking if you trust Lou when he tells you the injury is "minor." Remember, Ryan Carter's injury was "minor" before he went on IR and missed at least eight days. The Devils also called Dainius Zubrus' wrist injury a "minor" issue before Zubrus ended up needing surgery that will sideline him for at least four weeks. Lou hasn't said or done anything differently than almost every other GM in the NHL. Hell, look at the ubiquitous use of "upper-body," "lower-body," and the Rangers' use of "undisclosed" injuries. Teams lie about injuries. They lie to buy themselves time. They lie to give themselves leverage. And they lie sometimes just for the sake of greedily hogging information. But to play devil's advocate, what's to say Lou isn't lying about Brodeur's injury? What if Brodeur will miss more than a couple games and the Devils, in the midst of a serious funk, have to rely on Hedberg and Kinkaid for an extended length of time? Do you trust him then? Again, this is all just to play devil's advocate. As we wrote above, the way the Devils' roster is currently constructed didn't really leave them much choice but to put Brodeur on IR. But if there's anything I've learned with this team, it's not to take them at their word.

Replacement level: It seems somewhat timely that the struggling Devils are faced with starting Hedberg in possibly four straight games after we wondered aloud Sunday night whether the Devils would have to use him less going forward. After allowing two goals combined in his first three starts (2-0-1), Hedberg has allowed 14 goals over his past three (0-3-0). DeBoer says the Devils aren't giving him enough offensive help, which is true. The Devils have scored just four total goals in his last three starts. However, last I checked, the amount of goals a team scores doesn't exactly relate 100 percent to the amount of goals a goalie allows. There is a correlation in the sense that an offensive explosion or even an offensive push in the other direction takes pressure off of your goalie and forces the other team to react rather than attack. Still, what I've seen from Hedberg over those last three starts leads me to believe that he's not going to steal or maybe even win games for the Devils as a starter. That means the Devils are going to have to snap out of their offensive funk and carry the play in front of Hedberg while Brodeur is out, which is at least two games.

Those games are against Winnipeg and Buffalo, both of which are on the road. We saw on Sunday how difficult Winnipeg can be to play against if the Devils don't establish the forecheck and keep the pace of the game under control. If they can't do that, the Jets' defensemen will jump up into the play and can create mismatches that can overwhelm an average goalie (as they did Sunday). As for the Sabres, I would really like the Devils' chances with a semi-rested Hedberg in net, but are the Devils really going to play him in four straight? I don't necessarily think that's wise, which brings us to Kinkaid. We'll have a more in-depth post on Kinkaid before the weekend, but just speaking in generalities, do you want a player's first NHL start to be on the road against a desperate team and a player like Thomas Vanek? I get that the Sabres as a whole are struggling, but all I'm saying is that's an ideal situation for a rookie goalie. Especially a rookie goalie on a Devils team that is starting to slide.

Other options: For this segment, I'm going to need Devils fans to sit down. Everyone sitting down? Let's say, in the absolute worst case scenario, this is an injury that will sideline Brodeur for weeks, not days, and possibly into April. Now that you've imagined life without Marty, take several very deep breaths and remember this is all hypothetical. All set? Good. With that out of the way, let's talk about what the Devils would have in front of them if Marty were to miss a good chunk of the remainder of the season.

There are a couple goalies on the trade market that would be/are available. Chief among them of course is Roberto Luongo, who is very publicly on the block, yet maybe not on the block. It's very confusing. Luongo would obviously represent the closest quality version of a Brodeur replacement. He's got the pedigree, the skill set and the current ability to immediately step in and keep the Devils at the level they're currently playing (three points out of first in the East). He also comes with an exorbitant contract and likely a fairly stiff price tag to pry him from Vancouver. Plus, he's got a no-trade clause and a limited amount of teams for which he'd be willing to waive the clause. There's also the issue of just how willing the Canucks are to deal him considering how well he's been playing overall this season. They seem to like the idea (at least for now) of platooning him and Cory Schneider unless they get blown away by another team. With Brodeur under contract for another season after this one, I find it very hard to believe Lou would be willing to trade a can't-miss package for a 33-year-old goalie with nine years left on his contract after this season.

This brings to three other options on the trade market. One is someone Devils fans are very familiar with: Scott Clemmensen, who currently backs up Jose Theodore in Florida. Although he was never really all that with the Devils, Clemmensen has shown in the past two years that he can cover for a starting goalie for stretches and even play really well at times.  The Panthers already have their goalie of the future in the system in Jacob Markstrom, who is currently toiling in the AHL and needs an NHL roster spot. There's no market for Theodore, so the Panthers either have to leave Markstrom in the AHL for the year, roster three goalies or deal Clemmensen. I can't imagine Clemmensen would cost more than a mid-round pick, although the Devils are already light on those after the Loktionov and Ponikarovsky deals. Perhaps the Devils could offer a conditional 2014 pick that could reach third-round status based on Clemmensen's performance. Of course, Clemmensen and Hedberg would be the epitome of "stop-gap solutions" and Clemmensen has another year left on his deal with a cap hit of $1.3 million, while Hedberg has one year and $1.4 million left. One of them would have to go when/if Brodeur returns and you're essentially trading a third- or fourth-round pick for a few weeks of serviceable play. Not exactly ideal.

Okay, so with no Luongo and no Clemmensen -- I have two other options for you: the Senators' Ben Bishop and the Kings' Jonathan Bernier. Like the Panthers, the Sens have their "goalie of the future" at the AHL level in Robin Lehner. Bishop, meanwhile, is a tantalizing option. He's 6-foot-7 and has been stellar while Craig Anderson has been sidelined and at 26 years old is young enough to potentially be looked at as a long-term replacement for Brodeur. He could come in, platoon with Hedberg and then Brodeur and enter next year in maybe a 60/40 split with Marty before taking on the full-time gig in 2014-15 after Brodeur's contract is up and he retires. However, admittedly, Bishop is a bit of a wild card. He began his career in the Blues organization but was eventually traded to Ottawa for a second-round pick and seems to have dismissed a lot of the concern about his ability to move laterally and is suddenly a very attractive option on the trade market.

If you prefer a goalie with a higher ceiling and stronger pedigree, then maybe Quick is for you. The former first-round pick (11th overall in 2006) has been unofficially on the trading block ever since Jonathan Quick emerged as an All-Star-caliber goalie. He's got loads of potential, has seen his level of play increase every season and even got the experience of the Kings' Stanley Cup run last season. Of course, a guy with that kind of resume at the age of 24 comes with a high price tag in trade talks and Kings GM Dean Lombardi has made it clear he won't just trade Bernier to trade him. The Lightning, who were openly interested in adding a young, franchise-caliber goalie in the offseason, traded for Nashville product Anders Lindback instead. Would Lou be willing to sacrifice multiple young assets (Reid Boucher, maybe?) in order to acquire a 24-year-old potential franchise goalie that could learn at the feet of arguably the greatest goalie ever? That's a question for another day, but intriguing to ponder nonethteless.

Tags: Devils, Devs, Emptying The Bag, Johan Hedberg, Keith Kinkaid, Martin Brodeur, Marty Brodeur, New Jersey Devils, Editorial Aside

Nov 29, 2016; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; New Jersey Devils head coach John Hynes reacts to a call during the second period against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports (Bruce Fedyck)
Nov 29, 2016; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; New Jersey Devils head coach John Hynes reacts to a call during the second period against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports (Bruce Fedyck)

Devils' coach John Hynes didn't mince words in the aftermath of his team's 5-2 loss to the Rangers on Saturday night. 

Hynes was unhappy with how 'soft' the Devils played.

"You play soft and you play loose you have no chance to win," Hynes said, via Andrew Gross of The Record. "That was tonight's game. We were soft all over the ice. Too many soft individuals. We played a loose game, that's what happens. That's the game right there." 

The Devils will look to get back in the win column on Tuesday against the Kings.

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Nov 22, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Jesper Bratt (63) celebrates his goal during the first period of their game against the Boston Bruins at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Nov 22, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Jesper Bratt (63) celebrates his goal during the first period of their game against the Boston Bruins at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Mats Zuccarello nets twice as the Rangers beat the Devils 5-2 << Box score

First period: 

  • 6:14 NYR Jimmy Vessey; Assists: Boo Nieves, Paul Carey

Second period: 

  • 9:42 NYR Jesper Fast; Assist: Rick Nash
  • 13:45 NJD Damon Severson; Assists: Blake Coleman, Stefan Noesen
  • 16:03 NYR Mats Zuccarello (unassisted)

Third period:

  • 6:21 NYR Mats Zuccarello; Assists: Ryan McDonagh, J.T. Miller
  • 6:34 NJD Miles Wood; Assists: Pavel Zacha, Will Butcher
  • 11:59 NYR Kevin Hayes; Assist: Rick Nash
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Nov 7, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (13) skates with the puck during the second period of their game against the St. Louis Blues at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Nov 7, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (13) skates with the puck during the second period of their game against the St. Louis Blues at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

The New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils will renew their rivalry when they meet at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night.

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 (Russell LaBounty)
(Russell LaBounty)

The Devils couldn't score in the third period as the Blue Jackets stole one on the road, 5-3, at the Prudential Center. >> Box score

Tags: Brian Gibbons, Travis Zajac
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 (Russell LaBounty)
(Russell LaBounty)

Earlier in the week, the New Jersey Devils faced some adversity and passed their next test with flying colors following some tough love from coach John Hynes. The Columbus Blue Jackets hope to find success with the same formula on Friday night when these two teams meet in the second game of a home-and-home set at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

The Devils (16-7-4) thumped the Blue Jackets (17-10-1) 4-1 on Tuesday night in Columbus after Hynes held a stern meeting with team veterans the day before. Coming off a lackluster 5-0 road loss to the last-overall Arizona Coyotes, Hynes demanded better from his team in no uncertain terms -- and it responded, taking back first place in the Metropolitan Division in the process.

"It's black and white when he communicates with us," Devils center Brian Boyle told nj.com. "We have to start making a big difference in these games because you know how they go into December, New Year, after the All-Star break, after the trade deadline. It gets tighter and tighter..."

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Dec 5, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Miles Wood (44) carries the puck around Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones (3) during the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports (Russell LaBounty)
Dec 5, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Miles Wood (44) carries the puck around Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones (3) during the first period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports (Russell LaBounty)

The Devils broke a 1-1 tie by scoring two goals in the second period before tacking another in the third to beat the Blue Jackets, 4-1, on Tuesday at Nationwide Arena.  >> Box score

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Nov 7, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (13) skates with the puck during the second period of their game against the St. Louis Blues at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Nov 7, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (13) skates with the puck during the second period of their game against the St. Louis Blues at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Two teams battling for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division standings meet Tuesday night at Nationwide Arena in the first of two games between them this week.

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New Jersey Devils forward Brian Gibbons (39) celebrates his short handed goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the second period at the Air Canada Centre. (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils forward Brian Gibbons (39) celebrates his short handed goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the second period at the Air Canada Centre. (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)

After being out of the NHL since 2014-15, John Gibbons just wanted another chance. The Devils were the only organization to show anything that even resembled interest to the forward prior to the 2016-17 season. 

Gibbons received just one offer from the NHL to tryout, and it was the Devils. That happened late in the offseason, too. 

"They were the only place I could try out," said Gibbons...

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 (Ron Chenoy)
(Ron Chenoy)

The Devils squeaked out a 2-1 win on the road as Brian Boyle's power play goal is the decisive factor in the third period. >> Box score


First period:

  • 13:58 NJD Jesper Bratt
  • 17:11 COL J.T. Compher (Power Play); Assists: Alexander Kerfoot, Tyson Barrie

Third period:

  • 6:11 NJD Brian Boyle (Power Play); Assists: Taylor Hall, Jesper Bratt
Tags: Colorado Avalanche
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Nov 9, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils center Brian Boyle (11) celebrates after scoring a goal during the first period against the Edmonton Oilers at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Nov 9, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils center Brian Boyle (11) celebrates after scoring a goal during the first period against the Edmonton Oilers at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Three weeks ago, the Colorado Avalanche made a splash with a three-team trade that netted young talent and future draft picks.

General manager Joe Sakic was praised for landing so much and only giving up a disgruntled Matt Duchene in the deal. One of those players, 19-year-old defenseman Samuel Girard, has been a workhorse on the top pairing.

The New Jersey Devils are hoping for the same sort of splash after they made a big trade for a young defenseman on Thursday. New Jersey sent forwards Adam Henrique and Joseph Blandisi and a 2018 third-round draft pick to Anaheim for 26-year-old Sami Vatanen.

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 (John Hefti)
(John Hefti)

The Devils acquired Ducks D Sami Vatanen and a conditional third round pick in 2019 or 2020 for centers Adam Henrique, Joseph Blandisi a third-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.

The conditional pick in the deal is based on if the Ducks sign Henrique to a Standard Player Contract. If he signs a contract for the 2019-20 season before the 2019 Draft, the Devils would receive the Ducks' 2019 third-round pick. If he doesn't sign before the draft, New Jersey receives Anaheim's pick in the 2020 draft. If Henrique doesn't re-sign at all, the Devils don't receive a pick. 

Vatanen, 26, adds a veteran presence and two-way defender GM Ray Shero is happy will be featured on his team's defense...

Tags: Adam Henrique, Joseph Blandisi
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New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider makes a save on Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov during the first period at Prudential Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider makes a save on Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov during the first period at Prudential Center. (Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports)

Cory Schneider gave up two goals in the third period as the New Jersey Devils lost to the Florida Panthers, 3-2, on Monday at Prudential Center. >> Box score


First period:

  • N/A

Second period:

  • 17:20 FLA Aleksander Barkov (short handed); Assist: Mike Matheson

Third period:

  • 2:20 NJ Nico Hischier; Assist: Pavel Zacha
  • 4:07 FLA Vincent Trocheck
  • 8:19 NJ Jesper Bratt
  • 12:45 FLA Jared McCann; Assists: Dryden Hunt, Matheson
Tags: Cory Schneider, Florida Panthers
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New Jersey Devils forward Nico Hischier against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. (Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils forward Nico Hischier against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. (Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports)

For the second time just over two weeks, the New Jersey Devils play host to the Florida Panthers on Monday night at the Prudential Center.

The Devils (14-5-4) posted a 2-1 victory over the Panthers (8-12-2) on Nov. 11, the seventh win in their last nine games on home ice against Florida since the 2012-13 season. That victory also started New Jersey's current 5-1-3 run over the past nine games.

Tags: Florida Panthers
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Nov 25, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman Andy Greene (6) takes the puck up ice during the first period against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)
Nov 25, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman Andy Greene (6) takes the puck up ice during the first period against the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Fuller)

Brian Gibbons scored the game-winning goal in overtime and the Devils held on to beat the Red Wings, 4-3, on Saturday night.  >> Box score

Tags: Brian Gibbons
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Nov 22, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Jesper Bratt (63) celebrates his goal during the first period of their game against the Boston Bruins at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Nov 22, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Jesper Bratt (63) celebrates his goal during the first period of their game against the Boston Bruins at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Both teams will be playing the second leg of back-to-back games when the New Jersey Devils visit the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena at 7 p.m., Saturday.

The Devils scored all their goals in the second period in a 3-2 home win over the Vancouver Canucks at the Prudential Center on Friday night.

Left winger Taylor Hall had a hand in all three goals for New Jersey with a goal, his seventh, and two assists.

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Nov 9, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils center Brian Boyle (11) celebrates after scoring a goal during the first period against the Edmonton Oilers at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Nov 9, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils center Brian Boyle (11) celebrates after scoring a goal during the first period against the Edmonton Oilers at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

The Devils used a three-goal second period to beat the Canucks 3-2, with Brian Boyle on the scoresheet again. << Box score

First period

  • NONE

Second period

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 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

The New Jersey Devils will play host to the Vancouver Canucks on Friday at Prudential Center, each team coming off the NHL's Thanksgiving break.

The Devils (12-5-4) are playing the second game in a two-game homestand, having lost to the Boston Bruins on Wednesday 3-2 in a shootout. It's also the second time the Devils and Canucks have played this month; New Jersey defeated Vancouver 2-0 on Nov. 1.

Boston jumped out to a 2-0 first-period lead against New Jersey on Wednesday before the Devils rallied, tying the game on Brian Gibbons' goal with 4:44 remaining in regulation. The Bruins went on to win in an 11-round shootout.

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Nov 22, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Jesper Bratt (63) celebrates his goal during the first period of their game against the Boston Bruins at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Nov 22, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Jesper Bratt (63) celebrates his goal during the first period of their game against the Boston Bruins at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Charlie McAvoy's tally in the 11th round of the shootout lifted the Bruins over the Devils, 3-2, on Wednesday night at Prudential Center. >> Box score


First period:

  • 1:25 BOS Jake DeBrusk; Assists: Matt Grzelcyk
  • 11:02 BOS Patrice Bergeron; Assists: David Pastrnak, Danton Heinen
  • 17:10 NJD Jesper Bratt (PPG); Assists: Brian Boyle, Adam Henrique

Second period:

Tags: Brian Gibbons
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Nov 20, 2017; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman Will Butcher (8) celebrates his goal during the third period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)
Nov 20, 2017; Saint Paul, MN, USA; New Jersey Devils defenseman Will Butcher (8) celebrates his goal during the third period against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports (Brace Hemmelgarn)

It is not exactly breaking news that coaches are tasked with having to make tough decisions.

To wit: Boston Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy's choice between starting No. 1 goaltender Tuukka Rask or hot hand Anton Khudobin on Wednesday night against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

"It's a crystal ball kind of thing," Cassidy told reporters following the Bruins' practice at Warrior Ice Arena when asked if he was got to start Rask or Khudobin, according to BostonSportsJournal.com. "That's the best we can do with it."

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Minnesota Wild forward Charlie Coyle attempts to play the puck in front of New Jersey Devils forward Adam Henrique during the first period at Xcel Energy Center. (Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports)
Minnesota Wild forward Charlie Coyle attempts to play the puck in front of New Jersey Devils forward Adam Henrique during the first period at Xcel Energy Center. (Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports)

John Moore scored the game-winning goal in overtime after the Devils blew a two-goal lead in the third period as New Jersey beat the Minnesota Wild 4-3 on Monday at Xcel Energy Center. >> Box score


First period:

  • 18:32 NJ Adam Henrique; Assists: Brian Gibbons, Andy Greene

Second period:

Tags: Adam Henrique, Andy Greene, Brian Gibbons, John Moore, Minnesota Wild
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Winnipeg Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers lays on the ice in front of New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider and defenseman Damon Severson during the first period at Bell MTS Place. (Terrence Lee/USA TODAY Sports)
Winnipeg Jets forward Nikolaj Ehlers lays on the ice in front of New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider and defenseman Damon Severson during the first period at Bell MTS Place. (Terrence Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider has played in plenty of road games against the Minnesota Wild, though very rarely under ideal conditions.

Early in his career, when Schneider was backing up Roberto Luongo in Vancouver, and Luongo seemingly would always struggle in Minnesota, Schneider would usually come into the game sometime in the second period in relief, when the Wild had already built a big lead.

The Devils will play in Minnesota on Monday night after having a rough go of things Saturday at Winnipeg, where the Jets used a second-period outburst to send New Jersey to a second consecutive loss. New Jersey knows the road may get tougher soon.

Tags: Cory Schneider, Minnesota Wild
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Nov 18, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele (55) celebrates a goal by team mate forward Kyle Connor (81) during the second period at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Terrence Lee)
Nov 18, 2017; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Winnipeg Jets forward Mark Scheifele (55) celebrates a goal by team mate forward Kyle Connor (81) during the second period at Bell MTS Place. Mandatory Credit: Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports (Terrence Lee)

The Jets scored all five of their goals in the second period to beat the Devils, 5-2, on Saturday at the Bell MTS Place. >> Box score


First Period:

  • N/A

Second Period

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Nov 7, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (13) skates with the puck during the second period of their game against the St. Louis Blues at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Nov 7, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (13) skates with the puck during the second period of their game against the St. Louis Blues at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- The Devils come to town smarting from a heartbreaking road loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday as they surrendered the only goal of the game with two seconds left in overtime. Still, they have the same record as Winnipeg and Jets coach Paul Maurice is expecting a track meet.

"They've got a real quick team," he said. "They've got an awful lot of speed, some good puck movers. I think it's going to be as close to the fastest game we'll play all year. The fastest team that we've seen."

Cory Schneider will get the start in goal but he won't need any time to get his bearings. Bell MTS Place was his home rink when he played for the AHL's Manitoba Moose from 2007 to 2010.

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New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider guards his net during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. (Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider guards his net during the warmup period against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome. (Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports)

First Period

  • No goals

Second Period

  • No goals

Third Period

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Mar 23, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New Jersey Devils center Adam Henrique (14) draws a penalty as he is hooked from behind by Toronto Maple Leafs center Brian Boyle (24) at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)
Mar 23, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New Jersey Devils center Adam Henrique (14) draws a penalty as he is hooked from behind by Toronto Maple Leafs center Brian Boyle (24) at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports (Tom Szczerbowski)

TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs will try to avenge a 6-3 drubbing administered on Oct. 11 by the New Jersey Devils when the teams meet again Thursday at the Air Canada Centre.

The question is whether the Maple Leafs will have center Auston Matthews back in the lineup.

Matthews, who has missed three games in a row with an upper-body injury, practiced Wednesday with the team for the first time in more than a week.

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Nov 12, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Miles Wood (44) celebrates his goal against the Chicago Blackhawks with his teammates during the first period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports (David Banks)
Nov 12, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; New Jersey Devils left wing Miles Wood (44) celebrates his goal against the Chicago Blackhawks with his teammates during the first period at United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports (David Banks)

Miles Wood collected his first career hat trick while leading the Devils' offensive charge over the Blackhawks, 7-5, in Chicago. >> Box score

 

Tags: Andy Greene, Pavel Zacha, Taylor Hall
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 (Ed Mulholland)
(Ed Mulholland)

CHICAGO -- An up-and-down start to the season hasn't exactly provided the Chicago Blackhawks with an over-abundance of confidence.

But after erasing an early two-goal deficit en route to a much-needed victory Saturday night, the Blackhawks might have discovered some self-assurance heading into the back end of a back-to-back Sunday night against the New Jersey Devils.

A 4-3 overtime victory Saturday night against the Carolina Hurricanes helped the Blackhawks avoid entering Sunday's game at the United Center riding a three-game losing streak. After falling behind early, Chicago scored a pair of third-period goals to force overtime.

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Nov 9, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (13) skates with the puck while being defended by Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) during overtime at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Nov 9, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (13) skates with the puck while being defended by Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) during overtime at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Damon Severson and Kyle Palmieri scored the first two goals of the game to set the pace and help the Devils beat the Panthers, 2-1, on Saturday at the Prudential Center. >> Box score

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New Jersey Devils goalie Scott Wedgewood (31) in action against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils goalie Scott Wedgewood (31) in action against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

The Florida Panthers snapped a losing streak Friday evening, but they are hoping to extend one for the New Jersey Devils when the two teams meet Saturday night at the Prudential Center.

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New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac (19) skates with the puck up ice.  (Charles LeClaire (USA Today))
New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac (19) skates with the puck up ice. (Charles LeClaire (USA Today))

Travis Zajac and Michael McLeod have both been cleared to practice, per NorthJersey.com's Andrew Gross. 

Zajac and McLeod were seen on the ice with their teammates for the first time this season as the Devils had their morning skate before playing the Panthers tonight. Head coach John Hynes didn't give a timetable for either player's return, but for Zajac, he indicated he may have a thought about it. 

Zajac underwent surgery to repair a torn left pectoral msuicle back on Aug. 17. It has kept him out of team practices, but he was skating on his own with McLeod.

McLeod, the Devils' first-round back in 2016, underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Oct. 12. He is expected to miss four to six weeks. 

Tags: Travis Zajac
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Nov 9, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils center Brian Boyle (11) celebrates after scoring a goal during the first period against the Edmonton Oilers at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Nov 9, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils center Brian Boyle (11) celebrates after scoring a goal during the first period against the Edmonton Oilers at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

The Devils lost to the Oilers in the last seconds of overtime, but the story is Brian Boyle's emotional goal, his first since he was diagnosed with cancer before the season started.

"I've never cried after a goal before," Boyle told MSG after the first period. "That's a great feeling. It's everything..."

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New Jersey Devils center Adam Henrique (14) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Ottawa Senators during the second period at Prudential Center. (Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils center Adam Henrique (14) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Ottawa Senators during the second period at Prudential Center. (Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports)

Two teams looking to re-establish their footing meet Thursday night when the Edmonton Oilers visit the Prudential Center to face the New Jersey Devils.

The Oilers (5-8-1) are coming off a 2-1 overtime victory over the New York Islanders on Tuesday, their second win in three games, yet they have not won consecutive games all season.

Meanwhile, the Devils (9-4-1) face their first extended adversity, entering with a three-game losing streak after a 3-1 home-ice loss to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday.

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Nov 7, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (13) skates with the puck during the second period of their game against the St. Louis Blues at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Nov 7, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils center Nico Hischier (13) skates with the puck during the second period of their game against the St. Louis Blues at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

The St. Louis Blues, down 1-0 in the second period, scored three unanswered goals and beat the Devils 3-1 on Tuesday at the Prudential Center. >> Box score

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Oct 11, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New Jersey Devils forward Nico Hischier (13) skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)
Oct 11, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New Jersey Devils forward Nico Hischier (13) skates against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)

NEWARK, N.J. -- The Tuesday night game between the New Jersey Devils and the St. Louis Blues at the Prudential Center not only pits two of the league's top teams so far this season but is also an intriguing matchup between one club that consistently scores a lot and another known for its stout defensive play.

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New Jersey Devils left wing Brian Gibbons controls the puck in front of Calgary Flames defenseman TJ Brodie during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome. (Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils left wing Brian Gibbons controls the puck in front of Calgary Flames defenseman TJ Brodie during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome. (Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports)

The Devils lost to the Calgary Flames in a shootout after entering overtime tied at 4 on Sunday at Scotiabank Saddledome. >> Box score


First period:

  • 1:34 NJ Taylor Hall; Assist: Nico Hischier
  • 11:07 CAL Michael Frolik (short handed); Assist: Mikael Backlund

Second period:

  • 1:56 NJ Ben Lovejoy; Assists: Hischier, Jimmy Hayes
  • 11:11 CAL Michael Stone; Assists: Kris Versteeg, Frolik
  • 12:27 CAL Sean Monahan; Assists: Micheal Ferland, Johnny Gaudreau
  • 12:37 NJ Brian Gibbons

Third period:

  • 6:54 CAL Ferland; Assists: Gaudreau, Sean Monahan
  • 11:11 NJ Andy Greene; Assists: Jesper Bratt, Lovejoy
Tags: Andy Greene, Brian Gibbons, Calgary Flames, Taylor Hall
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New Jersey Devils forward Taylor Hall skates during warmup against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place. (Perry Nelson/USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils forward Taylor Hall skates during warmup against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place. (Perry Nelson/USA TODAY Sports)

The New Jersey Devils are pleased with themselves right now, but not to the point where they feel comfortable.

"You have to be proud of our record to this point of the season and take confidence in that," forward Taylor Hall said.

"But at the same time, we were 9-3-3 last year and we finished 27th. We have a lot to improve. If you look at our last few games, we have been outshot and outplayed a bit. We have to figure it out quickly." >> Read more

Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press

Tags: Calgary Flames, Taylor Hall
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 (Perry Nelson)
(Perry Nelson)

The Devils lose their third game of the season to the Oiler, 6-3, in Edmonton.

Tags: Adam Larsson, Brian Gibbons, Edmonton Oilers, Taylor Hall
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 (Anne-Marie Sorvin)
(Anne-Marie Sorvin)

EDMONTON, Alberta -- The resurgent New Jersey Devils boast a spotless 5-0-0 road record. The Edmonton Oilers are a disappointing 2-5-0 on home ice.

Tags: Arizona Coyotes
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New Jersey Devils' Will Butcher, from left, goalie Cory Schneider, Damon Severson and Steven Santini celebrate after defeating the Vancouver Canucks 2-0 in an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, British Columbia, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)
New Jersey Devils' Will Butcher, from left, goalie Cory Schneider, Damon Severson and Steven Santini celebrate after defeating the Vancouver Canucks 2-0 in an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, British Columbia, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Cory Schneider made 37 saves for his first shutout of the season and 24th of his career, leading the New Jersey Devils to a 2-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night.

Jimmy Hayes and Drew Stafford also scored to help the Metropolitan Division-leading Devils win for the ninth time in 11 games this season. New Jersey has won three straight and remains the NHL's only team with a perfect road record (5-0-0).

Taylor Hall added two assists and now has three goals and six assists in his last eight games against the Canucks. Read more >>

Tags: Cory Schneider, Taylor Hall, Vancouver Canucks
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Brian Boyle (24) carries the puck during the warm up in game four of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Washington Capitals at Air Canada Centre. Washington defeated Toronto 5-4. (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)
Brian Boyle (24) carries the puck during the warm up in game four of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Washington Capitals at Air Canada Centre. Washington defeated Toronto 5-4. (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Devils C Brian Boyle will make his season debut on Wednesday night, the team announced.

Boyle took regular reps in practice on Tuesday as he prepares to ease himself back into game action after being diagnosed with Leukemia during training camp.

Coach John Hynes said Tuesday that he would talk to Boyle regarding his status for Wednesday's game against Vancouver.

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Oct 28, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; The New Jersey Devils celebrate a goal by New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall (9) during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)
Oct 28, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; The New Jersey Devils celebrate a goal by New Jersey Devils left wing Taylor Hall (9) during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports (Ed Mulholland)

Taylor Hall scored two goals and the Devils came from behind in the third period to beat the Coyotes, 4-3, on Saturday at the Prudential Center. >> Read more

Tags: Taylor Hall
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Mar 21, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider (35) makes a save on New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) during the first period at Prudential Center.  (Ed Mulholland (USA Today))
Mar 21, 2017; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils goalie Cory Schneider (35) makes a save on New York Rangers center Mika Zibanejad (93) during the first period at Prudential Center. (Ed Mulholland (USA Today))

The Devils activated Cory Schneider from the injured reserve on Saturday.

Schneider missed time due to a lower body inury. He will start on Saturday when the Devils hosts the Arizona Coyotes, as Andy Greene will be out of the lineup due to the birth of his son.

Schneider, 31, has played in six games this season for New Jersey. 

Tags: Cory Schneider
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New Jersey Devils center Adam Henrique (14) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Ottawa Senators during the second period at Prudential Center. (Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils center Adam Henrique (14) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Ottawa Senators during the second period at Prudential Center. (Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports)

The Arizona Coyotes are off to the worst start in franchise history at 0-9-1. They've had every problem imaginable but one of them -- goaltending -- could be solved Saturday.

Antti Raanta, acquired in the offseason to serve as the Coyotes' No. 1 goaltender, could return from a two-week absence due to a lower-body injury to face the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center. He was on the ice Wednesday and practiced Friday, and the coaching staff feels he could be ready.

Tags: Arizona Coyotes
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New Jersey Devils goalie Scott Wedgewood (31) in action against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)
New Jersey Devils goalie Scott Wedgewood (31) in action against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

The Devils have traded goaltender Scott Wedgewood to the Arizona Coyotes for a fifth-round draft pick in 2018, the teams announced Saturday. 

Tags: Arizona Coyotes, Scott Wedgewood
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 (Marc DesRosiers)
(Marc DesRosiers)

NEWARK, N.J. -- When the New Jersey Devils host the Ottawa Senators on Friday night there could be quite a few familiar names missing because of injuries.

The Senators (5-1-4) will be without two of their top scoring forwards, Bobby Ryan and Kyle Turris. Zack Smith and Chris Wideman also may be unavailable.

Ryan is out for a month with a broken finger while Turris will sit out his second consecutive game with the flu. Smith has not played since suffering an undisclosed injury against the Devils on Oct. 19, though he may return to the lineup on Friday.

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GEICO SportsNite: Devils 00:00:48
Devils head coach John Hynes and No. 1 overall pick Nico Hischier speak to the media as New Jersey looks to continue its hot start.

 

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Brian Boyle (Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports)
Brian Boyle (Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports)

After Devils forward Brian Boyle was cleared for full participation in practice while he battles chronic myeloid leukemia, his return has inspired his teammates in the locker room.

"He's not only going to be a big boost to our on-ice play, but just having his morale in the locker room and his leadership is huge," Taylor Hall said, according to NHL.com's Jesse Spector. "If he hadn't been going through the leukemia like he is, he'd still be a huge leader in this room. Now that he's showing the effort and discipline that he's shown the past few weeks, it's hard not to rally around that."

The Devils have not given a timetable for when Boyle can return to game action, however his mere presence has lifted the spirits around the team.

"Even though he hasn't been around a lot," Devils head coach John Hynes said, according to Spector, "you can see the respect that he has in the room with the players, the guy that he is."

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Brian Boyle (24) carries the puck during the warm up in game four of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Washington Capitals at Air Canada Centre. Washington defeated Toronto 5-4. (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)
Brian Boyle (24) carries the puck during the warm up in game four of the first round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Washington Capitals at Air Canada Centre. Washington defeated Toronto 5-4. (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports)

The Devils announced that F Brian Boyle has been cleared for full participation in practice.

Boyle, who is battling Chronic Myeloid Leukemia, has been limited with what he can do. He will join the Devils for practice Sunday at the RWJBaranabas Health Hockey House. 

There is no official timetable for Boyle's return to game action. The 11-year veteran played in 75 games amassing 25 points (13 goals, 12 assists) last season with the Maple Leafs and Lightning.

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