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Thursday, May 22

Updated: May 22, 5:21 PM ET

Nieuwendyk 'ready to go' for Game 7

Associated Press

OTTAWA -- A day after he was helped off the ice with an apparent knee injury, New Jersey Devils center Joe Nieuwendyk said he'll play in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.

"I'm ready to go. I feel much better today," Nieuwendyk said Thursday as the Devils arrived at their hotel in Aylmer, Quebec, to prepare for Friday night's game against the Senators in Ottawa. "It's amazing what a day's rest can do."

Nieuwendyk, who scored the Devils' only goal in their 2-1 overtime loss Wednesday night, was hurt late in the extra period when he fell in the corner. He limped into the locker room about 25 minutes after the game ended, seeming to favor his left leg.

Without disclosing the nature of the injury, Nieuwendyk said the delay in getting to the locker room was a result of being both tired and frustrated over the loss.

"I was just exhausted at the end of the night, and once we got in the room and took care of some things, I feel great today," he said.

The Devils need anything they can get from Nieuwendyk, who has two goals and four points in the series. After opening a 3-1 series lead, New Jersey has lost the last two games, scoring one goal in each.

Devils coach Pat Burns said he expected Nieuwendyk to play. "This is playoff time; you bite your lip and you take it, whatever it is," Burns said. "Everybody has bumps and bruises."

Burns added that he doesn't anticipate making any lineup changes for Friday night's game.

The coach juggled his lineup for a third time heading into Game 6, inserting veteran defenseman Ken Daneyko, who replaced Richard Smehlik, and forward Turner Stevenson, who had missed three games with a groin injury.
New Jersey

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Devil hurting: Nieuwendyk injured in Game 6

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