Coming off their third straight OT loss, the Devils got right back to work Friday before heading off to Pennsylvania for Saturday’s game against Sidney Crosby and the Penguins.
Picking up where they left off last night, Adam Henrique was skating on the left side of the Devils’ top line alongside Travis Zajac and Ilya Kovalchuk. It was a little surprising considering Pete DeBoer admitted last night that he prefers to play Henrique at center. So why slot him in at LW right now?
Well that makes sense. They want to get him on the ice in key offensive situations, so giving him 14 minutes a night, most of that on the top line makes sense rather than burying him in between Krys Barch and Matt Anderson on the fourth line. Speaking of Anderson, David Satriano of the New York Post reported that Anderson says he’s being sent back down to Albany, which, if true, raises some interesting lineup questions. I don’t expect the Devils to play a man down, but I also don’t think anyone expected Anderson to pull a Stephen Gionta and just never leave. My guess? It’s either a contract for Mathieu Darche or Bobby Butler getting another shot. It’s too soon to recall Mattias Tedenby and I don’t know if there’s anyone else at the AHL level that can help this team at the moment. Then again, we were all wrong when they called up Anderson, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
As for the goalies this weekend, since the Devils play their first back-to-back set of the season, they’ll be splitting the duties over the two games.
Good decision by DeBoer to put Marty back in the net after his off night last night and to use your best goalie against Sid The Kid, while also avoiding the Isles seeing Brodeur for the third time in two weeks on Sunday. The Pens, meanwhile, will send Marc-Andre Fleury out against the Devils on Saturday, which surprises no one after Thomas Vokoun got the start Thursday and shut out the Rangers.
As for the rest of the lines and matchups from today’s practice, here you go, via Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice:
Adam Henrique-Travis Zajac-Ilya Kovalchuk
Dainius Zubrus-Patrik Elias-David Clarkson
Ryan Carter-Stephen Gionta-Steve Bernier
Krys Barch-Jacob Josefson-Matt Anderson
Extra: Stefan Matteau, Mathieu Darche
Bryce Salvador-Anton Volchenkov
Andy Greene-Adam Larsson
Henrik Tallinder-Marek Zidlicky
Peter Harrold-Mark Fayne