Thursday, May 22
May 22, 5:21 PM ET
Nieuwendyk 'ready to go' for Game 7
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
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
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.