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Devils bring new-look lines into Boston

Wednesday, 02.29.2012 / 4:10 PM / News
By Eric Marin
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Devils bring new-look lines into Boston
Coach Peter DeBoer juggled his lines at practice on Wednesday hoping to spark his offense heading into Thursday's meeting with the Bruins.

Dainius Zubrus, who had been centering Alexei Ponikarovsky and Steve Bernier, was moved back to right wing on a line with Patrik Elias and Petr Sykora. Jacob Josefson was bumped up to the third line between Ponikarovsky and David Clarkson.

"I think the Vancouver game [on Feb. 24], we at least created some opportunities," Coach Peter DeBoer said. "I think the Ranger game, we didn't get a lot going, so we'll make some changes and see if that works."

The expectation is that the Sykora-Elias-Zubrus reunion will recreate some of the offensive chemistry they generated during the first half.

"They're comfortable playing together; they like playing together," said DeBoer. "They complement each other, and it wasn't just a week or two of success – those guys were good for months. I'm confident that group will work."

Bernier practiced on the fourth line with Eric Boulton, Ryan Carter and Cam Janssen.

"I'm hoping we don't lose the identity on the third and fourth line that we've started to build, and I don't think we will with moving Jo and Clarky there," DeBoer said. 

The Devils (35-23-4) have dropped three in a row, but are looking for their first win in four meetings with the defending Stanley Cup champs.

"We're playing some good hockey," said Martin Brodeur, who will start. "We just have to keep believing in what we're doing and we're going to come out of it, as far as getting bounces and getting calls on our side. We're doing the right things to win hockey games. I think we're close, we're doing some good things."

Boston was shut out at home Tuesday, falling, 1-0, to Ottawa. They've outscored the Devils by a combined 14-5 in the season series.

"It's a big challenge," Brodeur said. "For us, we've gotten it handed to us three times against these guys, so it's kind of nice to go in and measure ourselves for the last time against one of the top teams in the East."

Johan Hedberg will be in goal Friday when the Devils visit Washington. The four-game trip concludes Sunday on Long Island.

New Jersey returns home Tuesday to host the Rangers.

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