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Bobby Butler getting second chance with Devils

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 15, 2013 at 5:19 pm •  Published: January 15, 2013

Butler had only three goals in his first 16 games with Albany but then got going when he started playing with center Steve Zalewski and left wing Joe Whitney. Five of his goals came on the power play, with his sweet spot being down low just to the left of the net.

"I got a few bounces and the puck just started going in," Butler said. "Then you kind of go from there and there were more and more bounces. You start to play well and good things happen."

Not only did Butler play better with his confidence back, he also realized what was missing: His shot.

"You can't score, if you don't throw it toward the net," said Butler, who played on the Devils No. 1 power play line Tuesday. "I didn't shoot enough last year and that was something I want to do as much as I can this year."

"He's a good player," said Travis Zajac, who centered the line with Butler and veteran Mathieu Darche on the wings. "He's got a great shot and he is quick getting it off and getting in positions to get it off. He works hard, he battles hard. I think playing with the right guys, he is going to get an opportunity to score goals."

The Devils did something interesting with Butler. They gave him the No. 9 for training camp, the one that team captain Zach Parise wore for seven seasons before signing with Minnesota.

"It's the number I got," Butler said. "I'll try to make the best of it."


NOTES: Stephen Gionta needed stitches near his lip after being cut by a stick in practice on Tuesday. ... The Devils plan to scrimmage Wednesday and they are bringing their AHL team to play. Coach Peter DeBoer did not know whether the NHL players would skate against the minor leaguers or they sides would be split up. ... RW Ilya Kovalchuk is due to rejoin the Devils Wednesday but DeBoer was not sure whether he will play in the scrimmage. He'll talk to Kovalchuk Wednesday. ... C Jacob Josefson (lower body injury) practiced with the team for the first time since the CBA was finalized. He did not take part in the scrimmage part, the second half of practice as a precaution.