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Number of changes for Devils

Wednesday, 10.05.2011 / 5:02 PM / News
By Eric Marin
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Number of changes for Devils
Larsson's number changed to No. 5. (Getty/NHL Images)
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As the Devils put the finishing touches on their roster for 2011-12, several players sported new numbers at Wednesday's practice.

Fourth-overall pick Adam Larsson is now No. 5 after wearing 42 in training camp. Adam Henrique went from 51 to 14, Brad Mills from 48 to 11, and Mark Fayne from 34 to 29. Petr Sykora, who officially signed, has No. 15 after starting camp with 40.

“It looks like I’ve made it, so hopefully I’ll be in the lineup on Saturday [for the home opener against the Flyers],” Larsson said.

Larsson has worn other numbers over the years, but spent the last two wearing No. 5 with Skelleftea of the Swedish Elite League.

“I’m used to it,” he said. Not that he had his heart set on it, but, “It’s fun because I’ve had it two years now.”

The 18-year-old said it hadn’t crossed his mind that he now has the same number as fellow Swede and NHL great Nicklas Lidstrom. But he did smile when asked if he was a fan.

“Of course,” Larsson said. “He’s huge in Sweden. Maybe one of the biggest defensemen in the world. Of course [I’m a fan].”

With just days to go before the start of the regular season, coach Peter DeBoer said the final group is all but set.

“What you saw today, if we can get through the next two practices, is probably going to be our lineup for Saturday,” DeBoer said.

Henrique, who wore 14 in his NHL debut in last season’s finale, was happy with the "new" digits.

“Nothing really changes,” he said. “It’s really just a number. I still have to come in here, play my game, play the way that’s gotten me here.”

Unlike Henrique, who was the Devils’ third-round choice in 2008, Mills was never drafted. The Yale grad has worked his way up from the ECHL to the AHL, never doubting that he could crack an NHL lineup someday.

“I knew it was going to be tough, I knew needed to play well, be at the top of my game and show what I could do," Mills said. "I believed there was an opportunity and I definitely believed in my ability to grab a spot.”

Injuries on the big club opened the door for Mills last season. He made his NHL debut, appearing in four games and scoring his first career goal. The 28-year-old understands what he has to do to contribute going forward.

“Play physical, be tough to play against, make life miserable for the other team, and use my skill to help the team win in anyway I can,” Mills said.

What about wearing No. 11?

“It was my older brother’s number growing up, so maybe it might mean something to him,” he said. “He actually texted me yesterday and said it was available, so it was kind of funny I came in today and it was hanging in my stall.

It’s just a number. In terms of my place here, I know what I need to do to stay. That’s what I’m going to do.”

Wednesday’s lines
Zach Parise - Patrik Elias - Petr Sykora
Ilya Kovalchuk - Dainius Zubrus - Nick Palmieri
Adam Henrique - Jacob Josefson - David Clarkson
Eric Boulton - Brad Mills - Mattias Tedenby
Cam Janssen - Rod Pelley

On defense: Henrik Tallinder - Mark Fayne, Mark Fraser - Anton Stralman, Andy Greene - Adam Larsson, Bryce Salvador - Anton Volchenkov

Martin Brodeur, Johan Hedberg

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 82 24 43 16 67
P. Elias 65 18 35 -4 53
T. Zajac 80 18 30 3 48
A. Henrique 77 25 18 3 43
M. Zidlicky 81 12 30 -3 42
M. Ryder 82 18 16 -6 34
A. Greene 82 8 24 3 32
E. Gelinas 60 7 22 -3 29
D. Zubrus 82 13 13 1 26
R. Clowe 43 7 19 -10 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 16 15 12 .921 1.97
M. Brodeur 19 14 6 .901 2.51