SAINT PAUL, Minn. - The New Jersey Devils held an optional morning skate ahead of their matchup with the Wild on Monday.
Changes are coming to the lineup, as the Devils look to break out of their winless streak. Coach John Hynes will insert Pavel Zacha back into the mix after Zacha sat out the last two games as a healthy scratch.
Zacha is looking forward to getting the opportunity to contribute, and feels he learned quite a bit while watching the game from a different perspective.
"It helps a little bit," said Zacha on Sunday after practice. "When you're on the ice you don't think about it as much but when you see it from up top you see [the game] in a different way. You see the spots where coaches talk about you need to get better. You see this is what I have to do every game to be playing in the lineup. I was trying to watch Travis Zajac, [Adam] Henrique, these guys who play center … just trying to learn from them what they do during games."
On Monday, Zacha spoke again with the media, his presence in the lineup officially confirmed.
"It was tough being on the bike or working out, watching my team play. It's really exciting for me to play tonight," he said.
Hynes is looking for consistency and competitiveness from Zacha.
"We would like to see him come in and have a strong response in some the things we're looking for him to do," Hynes said. "Which is, his skating has to be a factor in tonight's game. Competitiveness on the puck, and be a threat with his size and skating."
Zacha will start the game on the second line on Zajac's right wing with Jesper Bratt on the left side.
Cory Schneider, who has a record of 7-4-2 and a 2.87 GAA, will get the start against the Wild in their final game of a four-game road trip.