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Devils Notebook: Back to Work, Veteran Forward Returns

Erik Haula returns to practice and the Devils lineup gets a few tweaks.

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Devils Notebook: Back to Work, Veteran Forward Returns

The return of veteran forward Erik Haula is certainly relieving. He hasn’t been right since the beginning of the season as he’s been filtering in and out of the lineup between practices and games. Whatever he’s dealing with, it appears it’ll be season-long. He missed the New Jersey Devils’ last contest on Sunday with an upper-body injury, but was back on the ice at RWJBarnabas Arena at morning skate with the Devils.

The Devils took home six of a possible eight points on the road, defeating the likes of the Vancouver Canucks, Seattle Kraken, and Calgary Flames. They couldn’t manage the sweep, dropping two points to the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday.

Regardless, they’ll take the six points.

The Devils received the day off on Monday and got back to work on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s Workflow

Forwards

Tyler Toffoli – Jack Hughes – Timo Meier

Ondrej Palat – Nico Hischier – Jesper Bratt

Erik Haula– Dawson Mercer – Alexander Holtz

Curtis Lazar – Michael McLeod – Nathan Bastian

Defensemen

Jonas Siegenthaler – Simon Nemec

Kevin Bahl – John Marino

Luke Hughes – Colin Miller

Extra

Chris Tierney – Brendan Smith

Goaltenders

Akira Schmid/Vitek Vanecek

Regarding Haual, it looks like good news heading into Wednesday’s contest against the Boston Bruins, his former club. Haula was a full participant on Tuesday, skating alongside Dawson Mercer and Alexander Holtz. That trio worked well together before Haula was elevated to Jack Hughes’ line before injury.

Haula was also part of the penalty-killing group, indicating his imminent return to the lineup.

“It’s been an interesting year in a lot of ways,” Haula said post-practice. “I never want to miss time. I try to do everything I can to get back out as soon as I can when I miss games. Hopefully, things start going away a little bit.”

Another small, yet notable change is Timo Meier. He remains on Hughes’ line where he filled in for Haula on Sunday against the Oilers. However, he played left-wing and Tyler Toffoli played right. Today, they were swapped which seems to be Meier’s more natural position. It appears head coach Lindy Ruff is trying to find the best fit for Meier still, who hasn’t quite found the right “chem” this season.

When the Devils face the Bruins tomorrow, they will potentially see some familiar faces. Pavel Zacha is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. His status is unknown at this time. The Bruins recalled forward Jesper Boqvist earlier today who can potentially draw back into the Bruins’ lineup for the second time this season.

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