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Devils' Jagr, Larsson, Elias out vs. Maple Leafs

by NHL.com Staff / NHL.com

DEVILS (9-12-4) at MAPLE LEAFS (13-8-3)

TV: MSG, TSN4

TORONTO -- The New Jersey Devils announced that right wing Jaromir Jagr and defenseman Adam Larsson will not play against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday because of the flu.

Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello also said forward Patrik Elias will not play Thursday after sustaining a groin injury in a loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.

Lamoriello said Jagr did not sustain a concussion on a hit by the Penguins' Robert Bortuzzo with 2:03 remaining in the second period of the Devils' game in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. Jagr did not return after the hit; Bortuzzo was suspended for two games by the NHL Department of Player Safety on Wednesday.

"Jagr was sick before the game the other night [in Pittsburgh]," Lamoriello said, according to NJ.com. "He does not have a concussion. We went through all the tests after the game, last night and this morning. He just can't go. He's completely dehydrated so we sent him back to the hotel."

It is likely defenseman Jon Merrill will replace Larsson in the lineup. Merrill has missed the past 14 games with an upper-body injury. Lamoriello said the Devils may recall a forward from the team's American Hockey League affiliate to replace Elias.

"That decision will be made just a little later this morning to see what our status is here today and what would be the best position," Lamoriello said. "We have a flight for that player to come in."

With so many players injured and ill, center Adam Henrique knows the Devils will be challenged against the Maple Leafs.

"We just have to come out and play hard," Henrique said. "I think we did a good job of that last game after losing a few guys. We have to come out with the same effort.

"You don't over-complicate things; you make the simple plays. You get pucks to the net and you have a shooting mentality. We have to be tight defensively too. We gave up a few too many odd-man rushes last game. We'll have to fix it against these guys."

Maple Leafs forward Mike Santorelli has seven assists in his past four games playing on a line with center Nazem Kadri. He has three goals and 16 points in 24 games.

"I just want to keep getting better every day and keep on working on the areas of my game that I need to improve on," Santorelli said. "Obviously playing with really good players helps me to put up better numbers."

The Maple Leafs originally projected Santorelli would play center. However, because of injuries they switched him to right wing and he has enjoyed much more success there.

"I think everybody is pleasantly surprised with his contribution," Toronto coach Randy Carlyle said. "When we put him on the wing it seemed to loosen him up and made a big difference in terms of what he was able to contribute. We think we weren't using him properly and should have had him there earlier."

Here are the projected lineups:

DEVILS

Dainius Zubrus - Scott Gomez - Michael Ryder

Michael Cammalleri - Adam Henrique - Damien Brunner

Tuomo Ruutu - Jacob Josefson - Steve Bernier

Jordin Tootoo

Andy Greene - Damon Severson

Peter Harrold - Marek Zidlicky

Jon Merrill - Eric Gelinas

Seth Helgeson

Cory Schneider

Scott Clemmensen

Scratched: None

Injured: Martin Havlat (lower body), Travis Zajac (lower body), Bryce Salvador (lower body), Ryane Clowe (head), Stephen Gionta (lower body), Jaromir Jagr (flu), Adam Larsson (flu), Patrik Elias (lower body)

MAPLE LEAFS

James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Phil Kessel

Joffrey Lupul - Nazem Kadri - Mike Santorelli

Richard Panik - Peter Holland - David Clarkson

Daniel Winnik - Trevor Smith - David Booth

Cody Franson - Dion Phaneuf

Morgan Rielly - Stephane Robidas

Jake Gardiner - Korbinian Holzer

Jonathan Bernier

James Reimer

Scratched: None

Injured: Leo Komarov (upper body)

Status report: Komarov took part in the morning skate but will miss a second game with a head injury. Komarov was hit by Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin in the third period Saturday and did not finish that game. … Gionta skated for a few minutes but left the ice and is not expected to dress against the Maple Leafs. The Devils may dress seven defensemen and one could take shifts at forward.

Who's hot: Bozak has scored six goals in his past four games. ... Bernier has won four of his past five starts.

NHL.com correspondent Mike Brophy contributed to this report

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