Devils' Dougie Hamilton to return from broken jaw vs. Penguins

New Jersey Devils defenceman Dougie Hamilton, right, celebrates his goal with teammates during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers. (Bill Kostroun/AP)

New Jersey Devils star defenceman Dougie Hamilton will be back in the starting lineup Thursday against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Hamilton missed nearly two months with a broken jaw.

"I'm looking forward to him being back in the lineup," head coach Lindy Ruff said after practice. "I've had a conversation and he said he's ready to go, and we're ready to put him back in."

According to team reporter Amanda Stein, Hamilton was a full participant in practice -- including working with the top power play unit. He was paired with Jonas Siegenthaler on the top defence pairing in line rushes.

“It’s been going good so far, so I think I’m ready to play,” he said after practice.

The 28-year-old is in the first season of a seven-year, $63-million contract that was signed in free agency last summer. Before his injury he had seven goals and 20 points in 30 games.

The Devils are in the midst of an eight-day break between games as the NHL continues to make up postponed contests during what would have been the Olympic pause. The team visits the Penguins Thursday and Chicago on Friday as part of a short two-game road trip.

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