Alexei Ponikarovsky Joins The Team In Tampa

The New Jersey Devils left wing Alexei Ponikarovsky has accompanied the team in sunny Florida for their game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night. Ponikarovsky went down to a lower-body injury in the March 19 game against the New York Rangers. He has also not practiced with the team since the injury.

Ponikarovsky has one goal and four assists for five points in 17 games this year for the Devils. There is a possibility that Ponikarovsky will return to the lineup tomorrow night.

Mar 5, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) and New Jersey Devils left wing Alexei Ponikarovsky (12) chase puck during the second period at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

Also returning to practice today were Stephen Gionta and Bryce Salvador. They both left during the 3-2 shootout loss Monday night in Ottawa.

Stephen Gionta’s injury was classified as a upper-body injury, Salvador’s was a lower-body. Both were not serious injuries, but required some rest in order to be 100 percent.

Gionta, Salvador, and the rest of the team obtained that well needed rest the past two days at a resort in the Tampa Bay area.

The game Friday night will be played at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in downtown Tampa at 7:30 p.m. This is the third and final matchup between the two teams. The Devils split the two previous games, winning 4-2 and losing 5-2, both at the Prudential Center.

Feb 9, 2013; Newark, NJ, USA; New Jersey Devils right wing Stephen Gionta (11) and New Jersey Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador (24) hits Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) during the third period at the Prudential Center. The Devils defeated the Penguins 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The team will then continue the sunny Florida road trip with a game Saturday night against the Florida Panthers.

The Devils should be well rested with the couple of days off. They also have an easy schedule in the next three games. The Lightning and Panthers are at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Then they take on in-division rival the New York Islanders, who are on the edge of the playoff picture.

Topics: Alexei Ponikarovsky, New Jersey Devils, NHL

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