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Brunner gets first look in preseason

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:46 AM

Eric Marin

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Brunner gets first look in preseason
New York Islanders vs. New Jersey Devils

Damien Brunner will make his Devils debut tonight when the preseason schedule continues against the Islanders at Prudential Center.

The free agent is set to skate on the top line with Travis Zajac and Rostislav Olesz. Martin Brodeur will be in net for his first start of the preseason.

"I just want him to play his game," head coach Peter DeBoer said of Brunner. "Get comfortable, use his speed, make some plays, create some things offensively. Obviously that's what we're looking for, that type of dimension, and he has that ability."

Brunner continues to get acclimated to his new surroundings, a process helped along by his time with the Red Wings last season.

"Two or three practices in, he's obviously been well-coached by [Detroit coach] Mike Babcock, so there's nothing here that he hasn't seen from a system or a defensive point of view," DeBoer said. "It's just making sure that it doesn't affect his offense and where his real strengths lie."

Defensemen Damon Severson and Jon Merrill will also get their first crack at exhibition play.

Severson, the Devils' second-round pick in 2012, has had a strong enough camp to warrant a closer look from the coaching staff.

"I think Lou [Lamoriello] and I both pride ourselves on the fact that this is a merit-based organization," DeBoer said. "The kid's playing tonight based on merit and how he's played in training camp."

Severson, who earned an invite to Team Canada's national junior camp last month, will be paired with Andy Greene. He believes he's ready to take the next step in his hockey career.

"Definitely," Severson said. "I think I worked hard this summer and I tried to skate as many times as possible with NHL-caliber players when I had the chance to. I think I felt good out there and I feel good coming into camp here and I've felt good ever since I got here. I want to become a better player when I come here. Obviously it's all a learning experience still, I'm only 19, but I definitely think I'm ready for the jump. Hopefully, I can prove it."

Projected lines:

Rostislav Olesz - Travis Zajac - Damien Brunner
Ryane Clowe
- Andrei Loktionov - Michael Ryder
Ryan Carter
- Stephen Gionta - Dainius Zubrus
Krys Barch - Jacob Josefson - Reid Boucher

Bryce Salvador - Marek Zidlicky
Andy Greene
- Damon Severson
Eric Gelinas
- Jon Merrill

Martin Brodeur
Scott Wedgewood

2013-2014 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Sep 21 '13 NJD 3 at NYI 0
Sep 19 '13 NYI 5 at NJD 3
J. Tavares48281947-21895
M. Moulson47152944-3480
B. Boyes48102535-61611
F. Nielsen4862329-31221
M. Streit4862127-142231
K. Okposo4842024-23800
M. Grabner4516521+41223
J. Bailey3811819+7601
C. McDonald4571017-13210
C. Cizikas456915+01401
L. Visnovsky3531114+122010
K. Aucoin416612-1411
A. MacDonald483912-22011
M. Martin484711-26311
T. Hamonic483710-82811
D. Ullstrom20235-2601
M. Reasoner31055-3400
T. Hickey39134+9801
B. Strait19044+41000
R. Martinek13303-2401
A. Lee2112-3000
J. Joensuu7022+2600
M. Carkner22022-24600
J. Finley16011-52000
E. Boulton15000-43600
E. Nabokov4123-11-710311392.50.910
K. Poulin51-3-0131223.02.893
R. DiPietro30-3-012834.09.855
P. Elias48142236+52250
I. Kovalchuk37112031-61825
D. Clarkson4815924-67865
T. Zajac4871320-52211
M. Zidlicky4841519-123810
S. Sullivan4271017-122441
A. Henrique4211516-31632
A. Greene4841216+122021
S. Bernier478715-71721
R. Carter446915-23101
S. Gionta4841014+21400
A. Loktionov288412-2410
A. Ponikarovsky42459-11401
D. Zubrus22279-31200
M. D'Agostini29336-5800
M. Fayne31156+61600
A. Larsson37066+41200
P. Harrold23235-8610
A. Volchenkov37145-13700
H. Tallinder25134+01000
J. Josefson22123-10200
S. Matteau17123-1600
B. Salvador39022-122200
T. Kostopoulos15101+01800
M. Anderson2011+1000
M. Tedenby4011+0200
E. Gelinas1000-1000
T. Sestito6000+1200
C. Janssen4000-1200
A. Urbom1000-1000
H. Pesonen4000-1200
K. Barch22000+14400
M. Brodeur2913-9-7656542.22.901
J. Hedberg196-10-3514352.76.883
K. Kinkaid10-0-01132.31.923
J. Frazee10-0-0030.001.000
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