by David Pavlak on 12/15/11 at 08:02 PM ET
After fully recovering from an offseason Achilles injury, Travis Zajac will make his season debut with the New Jersey Devils on Friday night against the Dallas Stars. The night adds and extra sense of nostalgia, as former Devils defenseman Scott Niedermayer will have his jersey raised to the rafters prior to the puck drop.
“I’m feeling pretty good,” Zajac said to Rich Chere of the Star Ledger. “I feel like I’m ready to go mentally and physically. Now all I have to do is play. The game is totally different from practice, it’s a different speed. It’s a different competitiveness. I think that’s kind of the last thing left to do, get in the game and really see how it goes.”
X-ray’s negative for Tallinder:
After taking a slash on the wrist from Panthers defenseman Brian Campbell, x-rays came back negative, showing no damage to his wrist. He has resumed practicing with the team, and should be good to go against the Stars.
In his debut with the Devils, one man was particularly impressed with what he saw on the ice.
“I think he will pan out or we wouldn’t have done it,” Lamoriello told Chere. “He’s got something that we don’t have. He’s got an exceptional shot. His shot is in the top five percent in the NHL as far as accuracy and speed. We were able to add to an area that maybe hasn’t worked out — our power play — and it gives us a different dimension where it will take some pressure off people covering Patrik Elias and Ilya Kovalchuk. They’re going to have to worry about the shot down the middle. I was extremely pleased with him, especially considering his travel schedule and getting right into it without having a day of practice. I’ve certainly seen him. We’ve played against him enough, but I thought his poise was exceptional.”
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