NEWARK, N.J. -- While New Jersey Devils coach Peter DeBoer refused to tip his hand as to his opening lineup for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the New York Rangers on Monday (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC), it's pretty safe to assume it will be status quo.
During Monday morning's optional skate here at AmeriHealth Pavilion, every player was accounted for with the exception of Petr Sykora, who decided to sit out in preparation for the start of the series at Madison Square Garden.
Additionally, Cam Janssen, Eric Boulton, Tim Sestito and Peter Harrold, who have been frequent healthy scratches, remained on the ice long after majority of the team left the ice.
"I haven't decided [on a lineup]," DeBoer told the media. "We'll decide that at game time."
Forwards Zach Parise and David Clarkson are looking forward to hitting the ice after waiting five days following their Game 5 victory against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday.
"Playing in MSG … you know it's going to be louder and more hostile in there, but it's all the same in Philly," Parise said. "It is a very hard building to play in, too, but it's a good atmosphere. I would expect them to have a great start. Maybe a little carryover from their Game 7 [against Washington on Saturday]. We just need to keep doing what we've been doing."
Clarkson has shown great discipline throughout the playoffs and knows that must continue against the Rangers. While he does lead the team with 20 penalty minutes, that total ranks 12th in the playoffs.
"I think it's one thing the coaching staff and Pete have instilled in me … stay out of the box and keep away from the after-the-whistle stuff," Clarkson said. "The whole team has been told that.
"It's tough because sometimes you get bumped the wrong way or something like that when on the forecheck. But there's a bigger picture of winning, and if that's all I have to do to help this team win … pull back the reins a bit, so be it. I'll continue to make plays. Sometimes it's tough, but at the end of the day, it's what needs to be done to win and it's been working."
Here is the team's probable lineup for Monday:
Alexei Ponikarovsky - Travis Zajac - Ilya Kovalchuk
Zach Parise - Patrik Elias - David Clarkson
Petr Sykora - Adam Henrique - Dainius Zubrus
Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier
Andy Greene - Mark Fayne
Bryce Salvador - Marek Zidlicky
Anton Volchenkov - Adam Larsson
Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter: @mike_morreale