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Larsson back in the lineup vs. Tampa Bay

by Eric Marin / New Jersey Devils
Rookie defnseman Adam Larsson will be back in the lineup today when the Devils host the Lightning at 1 p.m.

Larsson has missed 10 games with a bruised lower back he suffered on Feb. 2. He'll be paired with Bryce Salvador.

"We're going to monitor his minutes and probably limit him to 5-on-5 rather than add in special teams," said coach Peter DeBoer. "He feels great and it's a good first step."

Larsson, 19, leads Devils defensemen with 16 points (2g-14a).

"I think he's had a great year," DeBoer said. "Toughest position to step in in the NHL, probably outside goaltending as a young guy, is defense. When you look at the minutes he's played, the situations we've put him in and had to rely on him in, and how he's handled it…

"We knew there would be bumps in the road, but he came out of every bump and it didn't set him back. He responded well to those situations and I think he's had a great first year."

Marek Zidlicky will make his Devils debut paired with Anton Volchenkov.

"It's a combination of a guy who bangs a little bit with a puck mover," DeBoer said.

It's been a whirlwind couple of days for Zidlicky, who traveled from Dallas to Minneapolis late Friday night, then arrived in New Jersey early Saturday morning.

"This isn't about what he's going to do tonight, it's what he's going to do as we move forward here," DeBoer said. "We'll ease him in tonight and see what he does.

Andy Greene will skate with Mark Fayne. Martin Brodeur will start in goal.

Projected forward lines:

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