Alexei Ponikarovsky will play his first game against Carolina since the Hurricanes dealt him to the Devils on Jan. 20. Ponikarovsky was in his first season with Carolina, but struggled to make an impact as the team fell to 15th in the Eastern Conference. After registering 15 points in 49 games in Carolina, he has accounted for 16 in just 29 games in New Jersey.
"We're playing pretty good as a team," Ponikarovsky said. "When you're in a playoff spot, it's a little different than when you're out of the playoffs. The atmosphere and everything else is a little different, for sure. Our focus is to win some games and get some points on the board."
The Devils will call on Martin Brodeur in net, while Carolina will counter with Brian Boucher.
Here is the projected lineup for the Devils and Hurricanes:
Patrik Elias - Dainus Zubrus – Petr Sykora
Ilya Kovalchuk - Zach Parise – Adam Henrique
Alexei Ponikarovsky - Travis Zajac - David Clarkson
Jacob Josefson - Ryan Carter – Steve Bernier
Anton Volchenkov – Peter Harrold
Marek Zidlicky – Bryce Salvador
Andy Greene – Mark Fayne
Jiri Tlusty – Eric Staal – Chad LaRose
Jeff Skinner – Jussi Jokinen – Tuomo Ruutu
Drayson Bowman – Brandon Sutter – Patrick Dwyer
Derek Joslin – Tim Brent – Anthony Stewart
Tim Gleason –Bryan Allen
Jay Harrison – Justin Faulk
Joni Pitkanen – Jamie McBain