OTTAWA - The New Jersey Devils took to Canadian Tire Centre ice this morning preparing for their game against the Senators. With no practice on Wednesday, all 23 healthy Devils were on the ice for morning skate.
The lineup will only slightly change from Saturday. Jimmy Hayes will sit out his first game of the season and Stefan Noesen will draw into the lineup. Noesen sat out the last two games as a healthy scratch. Of note on defense, Dalton Prout will play alongside Will Butcher while Ben Lovejoy and Mirco Mueller are healthy scratches.
The top line will feature Taylor Hall, Nico Hischier and Drew Stafford. The three began playing together midway through the Rangers game last Saturday. Hynes is hopeful that chemistry will spark between Hischier and Hall. Hall has one goal this season, while Hischier is still looking for the first goal of his NHL career. Hischier has said he doesn't feel frustrated by the process, he's more concerned about the team getting two points each night. That said, Hynes thinks Hischier "should have nine or 10 [goals] at this point," the way he has been playing.
This year's first-overall pick returns to the building where he watched his first NHL game, one that featured the Senators against the Oilers. He said he watched Hall - who was playing for the Oilers at the time - attentively and said that "it's cool" to now be playing on the same ice surface with Hall as a linemate.
Thursday is the first of a back-to-back situation for New Jersey, who will host the San Jose Sharks on Friday. Hynes will split the goaltending duties, with Cory Schneider getting the start in Ottawa and Keith Kinkaid starting at home on Friday.