NEWARK, N.J. -- Even though New Jersey Devils coach Peter DeBoer called it a game-time decision, Devils forward Patrik Elias said he expects to be back in the lineup Friday against the Los Angeles Kings after missing the past six games because of back spasms.
Elias hasn't played since Oct. 29 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He has seven points in 10 games this season.
Elias admitted that his back "still bothers me, but not to the point where I'll sit out."
Stephen Gionta also said he's good to go for the game against the Kings. He's missed the past two games with a sore foot.
The Devils will be facing the Kings for the first time since losing to them in the 2012 Stanley Cup Final. They didn't play each other last season because the 48-game schedule was limited to only intra-conference play.
"It seems like a long time ago," DeBoer said. "We don't talk about that. There's some familiarity there with some individual players and tendencies. You get to that point [the Cup Final] and you spend a lot of time breaking down the other team. I haven't mentioned [Drew] Doughty's name in 18 months and this morning that's all I talked about."
Cory Schneider will get the start in goal for New Jersey. He faced the Kings twice last season as a member of the Vancouver Canucks, going 2-0 with a shutout, 1.00 goals-against average and .960 save percentage.
Schneider is winless in his past four games, despite a 2.09 GAA and .915 save percentage in that span. The Devils have scored a combined 10 goals in Schneider's eight starts.
"We all want to get him a win," DeBoer said. "He deserves a win. He doesn't deserve to be sitting with the record he's got with the way he's played."
Schneider obviously would prefer a few more wins by this point in the season but said it's not something he's worrying about.
"I'm not down on myself at all," Schneider, whose last win came Oct. 19, told NHL.com. "I've got plenty of confidence. The end goal is to get wins, but for me personally I have to stay confident and stay upbeat. You can win some games 5-4 and you don't deserve to win them, and lose some games 1-0 that you don't deserve to lose. I believe it all starts to even out the further you go and the more games you play."
The Kings did not hold a morning skate at Prudential Center. They beat the New York Islanders 3-2 at Nassau Coliseum on Thursday.
It's unclear who will start in goal for the Kings with Jonathan Quick back in Los Angeles dealing with his grade-2 groin strain. Ben Scrivens started Thursday but the Kings also have Martin Jones with them.
Here are the expected lineups for the game Friday, but note that the Kings goalies are listed in the order they appear on the depth chart now:
Dainius Zubrus - Travis Zajac - Jaromir Jagr
Damien Brunner - Patrik Elias - Michael Ryder
Adam Henrique - Andrei Loktionov - Steve Bernier
Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Cam Janssen
Andy Greene - Marek Zidlicky
Adam Larsson - Eric Gelinas
Peter Harrold - Mark Fayne
Scratched: Jacob Josefson, Mattias Tedenby
Injured: Anton Volchenkov (lower body), Bryce Salvador (foot), Jon Merrill (facial lacerations), Ryane Clowe (concussion)
Dustin Brown - Anze Kopitar - Justin Williams
Dwight King - Mike Richards - Matt Frattin
Tanner Pearson - Linden Vey - Tyler Toffoli
Trevor Lewis - Colin Fraser - Jordan Nolan
Robyn Regehr - Slava Voynov
Jake Muzzin - Drew Doughty
Willie Mitchell - Alec Martinez
Scratched: Daniel Carcillo
Injured: Jonathan Quick (groin), Jeff Carter (foot), Matt Greene (upper body), Kyle Clifford (lower body), Jarret Stoll (upper body)