The New Jersey Devils have their brightest star back.
Jack Hughes returned to the lineup in Saturday’s 5-3 loss against the New York Rangers, tallying a goal, an assist, and eight shots on net in 22:40.
His status was a game-time decision after he returned to practice Friday as a full participant.
Hughes missed the last five games. He left a 4-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Nov. 3 with what the Devils called an upper-body injury after crashing into the boards on a scoring chance. Hughes was considered week-to-week.
The 22-year-old entered Saturday maintaining a lead over all other NHL skaters in points per contest. He piled up 15 assists and 20 points in 10 games before the injury and was leading the NHL in both of those offensive categories when he got hurt.
Hughes is coming off a campaign in which he set a Devils single-season record with 99 points.
The Devils are still without captain Nico Hischier, who’s been out since Oct. 27. He left a victory over the Buffalo Sabres after opposing defenseman Connor Clifton caught him with a headshot. Clifton was suspended two games for the incident.