DeBoer: Elias doubtful; Brunner game-time decision
If the Devils are to get their first win of the season tonight against the Rangers, they may have to do it without two of their leading scorers.
Patrik Elias (sick) did not participate in Saturday's morning skate and is doubtful for the Devils' first meeting with their cross-river rivals. Damien Brunner left the morning skate early and will be a game-time decision according to head coach Peter DeBoer.
With five points in seven games, Brunner (3 goals, 2 assists) is tied with Marek Zidlicky for the team points lead. Elias (2 goals, 2 assists) is next with four points.
"There's no excuse this time of year – you've got to perservere," DeBoer said. "We've got some depth here. Someone's misfortune is someone else's opportunity."
In Elias' absence, Rostislav Olesz moved up to the top line with Adam Henrique and Jaromir Jagr. Brunner was slated to play on a trio with Dainius Zubrus at left wing and Jacob Josefson at center. Mattias Tedenby, who made his season debut in Ottawa on Thursday, remains on a line with Travis Zajac and Michael Ryder.
New Jersey (0-4-3) will start Cory Schneider in net as they hope to end their seven-game winless skid. Despite the slow start, DeBoer is still only focused on the next opportunity to pick up a victory.
"I don't spend a lot of energy looking in the rear-view mirror on why we're sitting where we're sitting other than the symptoms of our play on a nightly basis," the coach said. "I don't know why. Why do you go through stretches of the season at different points where you lose games? For me, it's how are we fixing it tonight and moving forward. That's where we're spending our energy."
Adam Larsson will sit tonight for Mark Fayne, who will make his second appearance of the season.
Rostislav Olesz - Adam Henrique - Jaromir Jagr
Mattias Tedenby - Travis Zajac - Michael Ryder
Dainius Zubrus - Jacob Josefson - Damien Brunner
Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier
Bryce Salvador - Marek Zidlicky
Andy Greene - Mark Fayne
Anton Volchenkov - Peter Harrold