Damon Severson made his return to the Devils Tuesday night in his first game since Dec. 15, and it felt good (Fire and Ice, March 3).
“I felt pretty comfortable out there,” Severson said. “I think that’s the main thing with me as a player and as a person, just being confident on and off the ice and just doing my thing no matter what. The coaches put their trust in me and the management put their trust in me to put me right back in the fire and I just tried to do my thing out there and have some fun.”
Severson, who missed time with a fractured left ankle, ended the night playing 16:21 in the Devils 3-1 victory over the Predators while posting two shots on goal. Interim coach Lou Lamoriello was happy with the rookie’s return performance.
“For being off for the time he was off and he’s still not there in game shape the way you get by playing, but I thought he did an outstanding job for the first night,” Lamoriello said.
Recap: The Devils topped the Predators on Tuesday night at the Prudential Center.
Need to Know: The Devils opened the scoring just 58 seconds into the game when Adam Larsson‘s wrister beat Carter Hutton top shelf to give them a 1-0 lead. Less than three minutes later, Eric Gelinas scored on the power play to increase New Jersey’s advantage to 2-0.
Mike Fisher beat Cory Schneider early in the second period to cut the Devils’ lead to 2-1. In a period that was dominated by Nashville, the Devils were outshot 21-6 in the second after holding the Predators to just three shots in the first period. However, the Devils killed off a late power play to maintain a one-goal advantage heading into the third.
Nashville kept the pressure on in the third period – and emptied their net for an extra attacker with 2:47 to go – but the Devils were credited with an empty net goal with 1:14 remaining to increase their lead to 3-1 after Mike Cammalleri was pulled down while heading for the net.
With the win, the Devils pulled within 7 points of the Bruins for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Links: AP recap | Box Score
What’s Next: The Devils host the Blue Jackets on Friday night at 7.
Michael Ryder and Martin Havlat will be healthy scratches when the Devils host the Nashville Predators Tuesday, one day after the team failed to move them before the NHL trade deadline (Fire and Ice, March 3).
Defenseman Damon Severson will return after missing 31 games with a fractured left ankle, and the Devils will go with seven defensemen and 11 forwards.
Ryder and Havlat did not directly request trades, but Ryder told reporters Tuesday general manager Lou Lamoriello knew he was open to a deal.
“But, it’s hard to move a guy and get something for him when I’ve only played two games since the All-Star break,” said Havlat, who has been a healthy scratch 15 times since the break. “Other teams are probably wondering what’s going on or whatever, so if they wanted to get something for me, it’s tough.”
Ryder, 34, was out with the mumps earlier this season and has six goals and 12 assists in 44 games, including two goals and two assists in eight games before the break.
Havlat, 33, has five goals and nine assists in 38 games. He did not comment on the team’s decision not to trade him.
Both players will be unrestricted free agents this summer.
The Devils traded Marek Zidlicky to the Detroit Red Wings for a conditional third-round draft pick Monday, but GM and interim coach Lou Lamoriello said there were better deals out there for the team (NJ.com, March 2).
But, given the defenseman’s no-trade clause, the Devils’ hands were tied.
“He was aware of the teams that were interested in him. When he has the choice, you then can only make the best transaction that is available,” Lamoriello said Monday. “There were other deals out there, yes, if that were a place Marek wanted to go.
“Were there better deals? Certainly. Were there worse deals? Certainly. But in no way did Marek hold the New Jersey Devils up or did the New Jersey Devils hold him up. This is a right he has.”
The deal with Detroit was the only deal the Devils made on deadline day, but that doesn’t mean Lamoriello didn’t have hopes for more.
“We did try to do several things. We weren’t able to get done some of the things we hoped to,” Lamoriello said. “It was a combination of both maybe trying to move a player and add something to it to get a certain type of player.
“This is the first time I’ve experienced the other side of it. We would have and certainly had the freedom to acquire somebody that would have helped us or made us better. If we could have, we would’ve done that.”
7:15 p.m.: According to Devils GM Lou Lamoriello, the Devils had better offers for Marek Zidlicky than the one they accepted from Detroit (Gulitti, March 2).
“There were other deals out there, yes, if that were a place Marek wanted to go. Were there better deals? Certainly. Were there worse deals? Certainly” said Lamoriello, adding that “in no way did Marek hold the New Jersey Devils up or the New Jersey Devils hold him up.”
The Devils have traded defenseman Marek Zidlicky to the Red Wings in exchange for a conditional third round draft pick in 2016 (Gulitti, March 2).
According to reporter Tom Gulitti, Zidlicky needed to waive his no-trade clause in order for the deal to go through.
Zidlicky, 38, was set to become a free agent after the season.
In 63 games played with the Devils this season, Zidlicky had four goals and 19 assists.
Damon Severson, who recently returned to practice, has been ruled out for Tuesday night’s game but could return as soon as Friday (Gulitti, March 2).
Severson has been out since December 15 due to a fractured left ankle.
After returning to practice last week, Severson weighed in on how he felt (Gulitti, Feb. 26).
“We’ve been working a lot on my conditioning in the past few days and just trying to get back into shape, making sure I’m game ready again because I want to come back and help this team,” Severson said. “We’re in a tight spot here right now, so I want to be 100 percent when get back. When I come back I want to be effective out there.”
Severson, 20, has 4 goals and 8 assists in 20 games played this season.
Keith Kinkaid is back on the ice after missing four games with a groin injury. With a healthy Kinkaid ready to back up Cory Schneider between the pipes, the Devils sent goalie Scott Clemmensen back to Albany (Fire and Ice, March 2).
Clemmensen didn’t see any game action after being called up for Monday’s game, a 3-0 win over Arizona.
Kinkaid was injured in the second period on Feb. 21 in the Devils 3-1 victory over Carolina. Though it was initially projected that the 25-year-old wouldn’t miss any time, he said his groin was still “tender” when he went to test it before Monday’s morning skate.