DeBoer takes new lines into Caps matchup
Pete DeBoer is sticking with his new lines.
Despite the Devils' 2-0 start, DeBoer sees room for improvement going into tonight's meeting with Washington. The left wing swap that he made at Thursday's practice will remain intact against the Capitals (0-3). Mattias Tedenby moves to the top line with Travis Zajac and Ilya Kovalchuk, while Dainius Zubrus moves to the second line with Patrik Elias and David Clarkson.
"I don't think there's anyone that's this early into a season with a short training camp that's happy with all areas of their game," DeBoer said.
Krys Barch will make his Devils debut, replacing Cam Janssen as the right wing on the fourth line.
"He's a guy with no exhibition games," DeBoer said. "I mean, I obviously know him from playing on other teams around the league, but I haven't had an opportunity to really see him up close and personal. I want to get him in a game and see what he can do. On the face of it, I'm sure he's going to bring energy and speed and physicality."
Adam Henrique, sidelined since November following left thumb surgery, took part in the morning skate. It was a welcome sight for DeBoer.
"It's great to see him back," the coach said of the 2012 Calder Trophy finalist. "He's a big part of our team and our lineup. It just allows you, obviously assuming you stay healthy, by slotting him in, it just allows you to put guys in better positions for them to have success and for us to have success."
The matchup with Washington means the return of Adam Oates, who spent two seasons as a Devils assistant before taking over as Caps coach last summer. Washington dropped its third in a row to start the year with a 4-1 home loss to Montreal on Thursday.
"Watching them play, I see signs of improvement," DeBoer said. "I told our guys I think they're a dangerous team in that I can see them better every day. He's a hell of a coach and it's just a matter of time before they get things together. I just hope it's not tonight."
Mattias Tedenby - Travis Zajac - Ilya Kovalchuk
Dainius Zubrus - Patrik Elias - David Clarkson
Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier
Stefan Matteau - Jacob Josefson - Krys Barch