New Jersey Devils
(14-13-1, 29 points, 12th in the Conference)
Coming off a 2-1 loss to Montreal
Zach Parise-Adam Henrique-Ilya Kovalchuk
Petr Sykora-Patrik Elias-David Clarkson
Dainius Zubrus-Ryan Carter-Nick Palmieri
Eric Boulton-Tim Sestito-Mattias Tedenby
Henrik Tallinder-Adam Larsson
Bryce Salvador-Alex Urbom
Mark Fayne-Matt Taormina
Tampa Bay Lightning
(12-15-2, 26 points, 13th in the Conference)
Coming off a 5-2 loss to Philadelphia
Martin St. Louis
Previous Meeting this Season - Devils won 4-2
Tampa Bay is mired in a 1-6-0 slump while New Jersey is 2-5-0 in its last seven.
New Jersey won 4-2 at Tampa Bay on Nov. 19, going 2 for 8 on the power play as Patrik Elias and David Clarkson each tallied. That contest marks one of three occasions in which the Devils have scored two power-play goals, with the other two coming against Toronto.
The Lightning went 0 for 6 with the man advantage in that contest, as Martin Brodeur made 21 saves. The Devils own the league's top penalty-kill unit at 93.4 percent.
It appears that Brodeur will start Tuesday at Florida, with Johan Hedberg getting the call Monday. Hedberg is 1-7-1 with a 3.76 GAA in nine career starts at Tampa Bay.
Lightning goalie Mathieu Garon is 1-1-1 with a 1.58 GAA in three career starts against the Devils while Dwayne Roloson fell to 3-8-1 with a 2.93 GAA in 12 starts versus New Jersey after last month's loss.
The Devils have won seven of their last eight at the St. Pete Times Forum. Zach Parise has amassed seven points in his last six road games in the series.
Travis Zajac update:
Devils center Travis Zajac will accompany the team when it flies to Tampa, Fla. later this afternoon, but will not play in either game on this two-game trip.
Zajac, who is recovering from Aug. 18 surgery to repair a torn left Achilles tendon, said there is a possibility that he could play in Friday night’s home game against Dallas – also the night the Devils will retire Scott Niedermayer’s No. 27.
“That will be the earliest,” Zajac told me after today’s practice at Prudential Center. “We’ll see how this week goes and then we’ll talk it over with (GM) Lou (Lamoriello) and the coaches. I’ll concentrate on getting in a couple more good practices and we’ll see. I feel good, though.”
Rookie Sensation Adam Henrique:
Henrique ranks third in the NHL among rookies with 20 points in 25 games (six goals, 14 assists).
Henrique, 21, has put his name into the conversation about the top rookies in the NHL, but DeBoer said he still has some work to do.
DeBoer on line shuffling:
“We’ve had one or two goals in seven of the last nine games,” DeBoer said. “We’re not generating enough. Early we had Elias’ line going and we didn’t have a secondary line. Lately, we’ve had Henrique’s line going and we haven’t had a secondary line scoring. So, we’ve got to find a way to get at least a couple lines going at the same time.”