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At the Rink: Devils at Hurricanes

by Kurt Dusterberg

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The New Jersey Devils and Carolina Hurricanes will turn to their backup goaltenders when they face off at PNC Arena on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, FS-CR).

Keith Kinkaid is making his fifth start for the Devils. He lost a 5-1 decision at the Edmonton Oilers in his previous start on Nov. 20. The backup role is one he is still trying to master.

"You don't get to make up for your mistakes the next game or get into a rhythm," Kinkaid said. "It's definitely different for me, but I'm trying to adjust as best as I can. I worked on a few things in practice since my last start. I will be ready for tonight."

Eddie Lack will make his seventh start for Carolina. Lack was acquired from the Vancouver Canucks and signed to a two-year extension over the summer. Now he is hoping to grab the reins in the Carolina net.

"I wanted a couple more wins, and if I had those, I probably would have started a couple more games," said Lack, who is 1-4-1. "I've got to play good once I'm in there. I feel like it's a good opportunity coming up here and I'm going to try to make the best of it."

The Devils will make a couple lineup changes among the forwards. Stefan Matteau and Brian O'Neill, who have sat out three and four games, respectively, will replace Sergey Kalinin and Bobby Farnham.

"Some guys have sat for a little bit and we'd like to get four lines going again," Devils coach John Hynes said. "We play a lot of games this month. We talked to the team, and if we're going to have some success, we need to have a pretty complete team effort and we're going to need the guys that are on the roster."

Carolina has shuffled the right side of three lines. Kris Versteeg, who is without a goal in 12 games, will play on Jordan Staal's line, and center Riley Nash (no goals in 16 games), will add Chris Terry on the right side.

"We need to try a different look on the Nash unit," Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. "That unit was good for a while, but it hasn't scored or been consistently dangerous for a while. Versteeg has the opportunity to make plays, so he will play valuable minutes with Staal. It gives us good depth on the Nash line with Chris Terry there as an offensive player."

The Devils had a little extra jump in their step at the morning skate, perhaps the result of their first Dad's Trip. The players' fathers posed for a team picture following the morning skate. Afterward, there was plenty of chatter in locker room about the trip.

"Everybody's basic instinct is you want your dad to be proud of you," Mike Cammalleri said. "There's something familiar about it. Your dad was the guy beside you going to the rink as a kid. So it's happening all over again many years later. It's special for sure."

Former Hurricanes defenseman Tim Gleason, who recently ended a professional tryout with the team, was back on the ice at the morning skate -- in coaching gear. He will be working with Carolina's young defensemen on a part-time basis.

"Coming and giving it a try gave him the opportunity to find closure with that part of it," Peters said of Gleason's recent tryout. "Now he moves on to the next phase of his life."

Here are the projected lineups:


Mike Cammalleri - Adam Henrique - Lee Stempniak

Patrik Elias - Travis Zajac - Kyle Palmieri

Stefan Matteau - Jacob Josefson - Tyler Kennedy

Brian O'Neill - Stephen Gionta - Jordin Tootoo

Andy Greene - Adam Larsson

John Moore - Damon Severson

Jon Merrill - Eric Gelinas

Keith Kinkaid

Cory Schneider

Injured: Tuomo Ruutu (right foot fracture), Jiri Tlusty (upper body)

Scratched: Bobby Farnham, Sergey Kalinin, David Schlemko


Eric Staal - Victor Rask - Elias Lindholm

Jeff Skinner - Riley Nash - Chris Terry

Joakim Nordstrom - Jordan Staal - Kris Versteeg

Brad Malone - Jay McClement - Andrej Nestrasil

Ron Hainsey - Justin Faulk

John-Michael Liles - Brett Pesce

Noah Hanifin - Ryan Murphy

Cam Ward

Eddie Lack

Injured: Nathan Gerbe (ankle), James Wisniewski (left knee)

Scratched: Michal Jordan

Status report: Murphy, who missed seven games with a concussion, will return the Carolina lineup.

Who's hot: Henrique has three goals and two assists in his past five games. … Lindholm has points in five straight games.

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