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Carter to stay at wing on Kings top line vs. Devils

New Jersey right wing Jordin Tootoo (upper body) is out

by Curtis Zupke / Correspondent

DEVILS (32-29-7) at KINGS (40-22-4)

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET; MSG+, FS-W, NHL.TV

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- New Jersey Devils right wing Jordin Tootoo has an upper-body injury and won't play Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center, the team announced.

It will be the second game Tootoo has missed this season because of injury. He played Thursday in a 3-0 win against the San Jose Sharks to kick off a three-game California trip for New Jersey. Left wing Tuomo Ruutu took his place in line rushes Saturday morning at Staples Center, according to The Bergen Record.

The Kings did not do line rushes at an optional skate at their practice facility, but they will likely continue with their retooled lines. 

Right wing Jeff Carter was moved up with center Anze Kopitar and left wing Milan Lucic on March 5 against the Anaheim Ducks. That means center Vincent Lecavalier will be with left wing Tanner Pearson and right wing Tyler Toffoli on the second line. 

Carter has benefited from the move with three goals in two games, which matches his total from the previous 24 games, while Lecavalier has two goals in his past two games with the young players.

"I think we play well together," Lecavalier said. "Both guys have a lot of speed, and they're quick on pucks. It's been going very well."

It's a juxtaposition for Lecavalier, 35, who will play in his 1,198th regular-season game, against Pearson and Toffoli, who are each 23. Are they teaching him or vice versa?

"I think it's a combination," Lecavalier said. "I think we're helping out each other. We're communicating. We look for each other in the zone."

The Kings have scored nine goals in two games but face Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid, who beat them 1-0 on Feb. 14 at Prudential Center. 

Here are the projected lineups:


Tyler Kennedy - Adam Henrique - Devante Smith-Pelly

Reid Boucher - Travis Zajac - Kyle Palmieri

Joseph Blandisi - Sergey Kalinin - Mike Sislo

Bobby Farnham - Stephen Gionta - Tuomo Ruutu

Andy Greene - Adam Larsson

John Moore - David Schlemko

Seth Helgeson - David Warsofsky  

Keith Kinkaid

Yann Denis

Injured: Jordin Tootoo (upper body), Patrik Elias (knee), Jiri Tlusty (upper body), Michael Cammalleri (hand), Cory Schneider (knee), Jacob Josefson (upper body)

Scratched: Damon Severson, Jon Merrill


Milan Lucic - Anze Kopitar - Jeff Carter

Tanner Pearson - Vincent Lecavalier - Tyler Toffoli

Dwight King - Trevor Lewis - Dustin Brown

Kyle Clifford - Nick Shore - Kris Versteeg

Rob Scuderi - Drew Doughty

Jake Muzzin - Alec Martinez

Brayden McNabb - Luke Schenn

Jonathan Quick

Jhonas Enroth

Injured: Marian Gaborik (knee), Matt Greene (shoulder), Jordan Nolan (undisclosed)

Scratched: Jamie McBain, Andy Andreoff

Status report: Quick was off the ice first. … McBain and Andreoff stayed out as extras with Greene, who has been skating on his own.

Who's hot: Zajac had a two-goal game Thursday. … Smith-Pelly has three goals in four games. … Carter has seven points in the past seven games. … Lucic is on a four-game point streak.

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