The Devils close out the exhibition slate tomorrow night when they host the Flyers. They open the regular season on Oct. 8 at home vs. Philadelphia.
"The plan was to try and play as close to our opening night roster [tomorrow] night," Coach Peter DeBoer said.
• Neither Bryce Salvador (lower body) nor Matt Taormina (upper body) skated in today's practice sessions as they work through some bumps and bruises.
"It's just precautionary," DeBoer said of Salvador. "The plan is that he'll play tomorrow night. We don't want to push things like that this early."
• Dainius Zubrus (lower body) was on ice with the second morning session, but has yet to play in the preseason.
"I talked to him today, and he's a possibility for tomorrow," said DeBoer. "I want to see how he feels after the skate today, but he's looked good. I would like to get him in a game before we start."
• On last night's loss in Philly, DeBoer said, "I liked our team game. I think it was a good game in that, for me, that was a regular season-type game: speed, physicality. I liked some guys better than others in that situation. For us, that's what we're going to be dealing with on a nightly basis. We're going to have some meetings on those feelings, but I think some guys fared better than others did."
Adam Larsson led all players with 24:48 of ice time, a scenario DeBoer said he could see in the regular season as well.
"It's not optimal, but the kid's handled it so far, no problem," DeBoer said. "We've been loading him up with the regular shift, penalty kill and power play to see where his strengths lie and where we'll see him during the regular season. I'm not saying he's not going to play 24 minutes a night on some nights during the regular season; that's a real possibility. I don't see that as an every night thing. It's been more a situation where we're throwing everything at him and seeing what's the best fit for him."
So far, Larsson is meeting the challenge head-on.
"He's handled himself well everywhere," said the coach. "I think where we're at, he's done a real good job on the power play. I think the guys are comfortable. I think it's a matter of them getting a lot more reps together and some puck luck around the net for it to go [in]. To start, if we have to limit some special team action, it'll be his penalty kill."
• Martin Brodeur made 25 saves last night, including a couple of gems on Jaromir Jagr and Blair Betts.
"You appreciate what a good pro he is, how hard he works," DeBoer said. "For him to be out here at practice working the way he does on a daily basis after what he's accomplished at this point in his career, it's something that separates him from most guys."