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DeBoer working on lineup for opener

by Eric Marin / New Jersey Devils

Head coach Peter DeBoer still has some work to do before finalizing his lineup for Thursday's season opener in Pittsburgh.

He expects to have two of his key pieces – Martin Brodeur and Jaromir Jagr – in place when the puck finally drops on 2013-14. In the meantime, he has other details to work out.

"We're going to take all the time we can just because things can change in a practice," DeBoer said Tuesday. "You're dealing with different things: obviously what Marty has gone through and how quickly he can get back feeling good, some minor injuries, Jagr practicing two days in a row. There's some moving parts."

DeBoer experimented at practice with putting Jagr on a line with Travis Zajac and Adam Henrique. That was a change from Monday, when Jagr skated as an extra forward with Jacob Josefson and Mattias Tedenby.

"You can see just watching him, the world-class skill and the plays he's able to make," DeBoer said of Jagr. "For me, it's just finding that balance where we allow him and afford him the opportunity to be creative at the right times. At the same time, he gets a good handle on our expectations, system-wise and fitting in that way."

Whether Brodeur gets the start Thursday or in Friday's home opener against the Islanders, he wants to be ready. He was reminded of his NHL-record streak of 18 consecutive season openers with one team.

"It's not a big thing. It's durability," Brodeur said of the mark. "I'm part of the lineup, regardless."

Tuesday's lines:

Ryane Clowe - Patrik Elias - Damien Brunner
Adam Henrique
- Travis Zajac - Jaromir Jagr
Dainius Zubrus
- Andrei Loktionov - Michael Ryder
Ryan Carter
- Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier
Rostislav Olesz
- Jacob Josefson - Mattias Tedenby

Bryce Salvador - Marek Zidlicky
Andy Greene
- Adam Larsson
Anton Volchenkov
- Peter Harrold
Alexander Urbom
- Mark Fayne

Martin Brodeur
Cory Schneider

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