White returns to Devils after six-game injury layoff
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils got a big boost on their blue line Wednesday night when defenseman Colin White rejoined the lineup after sitting out five playoff games because of an injured groin.
White, the Devils' most physical defensive-minded defenseman, was injured late in the regular season and missed New Jersey's final game. He returned for the playoff opener against the New York Rangers but saw only 4:54 of ice time in the first period before leaving again after aggravating the injury.
He was sidelined for the remaining three victories in the sweep of New York and for the first two losses at Carolina in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series that resumed with Game 3 in New Jersey on Wednesday.
He said he now feels 100 percent healthy.
"I'm excited to go," White said. "Obviously we have a hill to climb right now, but we've got to start somewhere."
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound White revealed that he could've played Monday when the Devils lost 3-2 in overtime to fall into an 0-2 hole against the Hurricanes but decided -- along with team officials -- to give the injury two more days of rest in an attempt to avoid a recurrence.
"I'm not going to be the savior," White said. "I'm not going to come in and play a different role than I have all year. The guys know what to expect from me. I'll be physical. I'm not going to go end to end. I'll try to shut down a couple of guys."
One will likely be Carolina's top center, Eric Staal, who tied Game 2 on Monday with only three seconds remaining in regulation after New Jersey took the lead just 18 seconds earlier. Staal avoided defenseman Brad Lukowich and was able to establish position in front of goalie Martin Brodeur and knocked the puck past him.
Ken Klee, who played each of the Devils' first six playoff games, was scratched to make room in the lineup for White.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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