Programming note: Sharks-Devils coverage starts today at 3:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California
NEWARK –- Eriah Hayes had a worthy enough training camp that he wasn’t reassigned to AHL Worcester until the Sharks had already played their season opener.
He’s back already for Saturday’s game against the New Jersey Devils, where he’ll be slotted on the wing of the fourth line with Andrew Desjardins and Adam Burish, in place of John Scott.
“A little more speed or tempo in that situation, a little more forecheck,” head coach Todd McLellan said of the 26-year old. “That’s not to say that John Scott hasn’t done his job, or to say that it’s just the fourth line. We have some issues with some other lines that have to perform at a higher level than they did thus far on the trip, really.”
Hayes, who has two assists in two games with Worcester, hoped he would be back sooner than later but there are never any guarantees.
“Obviously you hope that’s the case, but you just never know,” Hayes said. “You’ve just got to keep your nose to the grindstone and keep playing well and hopefully you get your chance.”
Hayes, who played 15 NHL games last season with the Sharks and scored one goal, credited his successful training camp to playing within the team’s system.
“I think I play a simple game. I get pucks deep, I like to play the body. Just keep things simple, play good defensively and fit in,” he said.
Burish said: “When he’s moving his feet, hitting, he’s fun to play with because he stirs up a lot of loose pucks. In the o-zone, he just makes a mess down there and it’s fun to play with a guy like that.”
Mike Brown, who injured his left hand blocking a shot last Saturday against Winnipeg, has been placed on injured reserve to make room for Hayes.
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Antti Niemi will be in net, as the Sharks continue to alternate goaltenders.
Scott Hannan will return for Jason Demers, who will be a healthy scratch on defense for the first time this season. Hannan sat out against the Islanders on Thursday.
Former Sharks forward Marty Havlat, who was bought out this offseason by San Jose, will likely miss the game after he suffered facial lacerations from a hit initiated by Jason Chimera on Thursday in Washington. Havlat went face first into referee Darcy Burchell’s elbow, and was severely cut by his own visor.