Michalek has missed 15 games since undergoing arthroscopic surgery to clean out debris in his right knee on March 19. The 28-year-old forward had been dealing with lingering issues with his knee throughout his knee and had hoped to put off surgery until after the season.
After missing 10 games starting in the middle of February, Michalek was able to return for two games at the start of March. However, he was unable to practice following the set of games and head coach Paul MacLean announced that Michalek had suffered a setback.
The team would ultimately announce the need for surgery and hoped that he would be available for the playoffs.
Entering competition on Friday night, Ottawa owns the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. The team ended a five-game losing streak after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night, 3-1. Friday's contest will mark the sixth game of a seven-game road trip.
While it remains to be seen how involved Michalek will be against New Jersey, his return will be an added boost to an injury-depleted roster that has struggled of late. Michalek has accumulated two goals and eight assists for 10 points in 15 games this season.