CALGARY -- Though the New Jersey Devils are still seeking their first win of the season as they visit the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday night, coach Peter DeBoer doesn't think the team's situation is as dire as it's been made out to be.
DeBoer's Devils (0-1-3) have earned points in three of four games this season. Getting two in Calgary would be a reward for the coach.
"I don't think the picture is as bleak as I've read it is," DeBoer said. "I think we've done some good things. We're close to getting some wins and some points. It'd be nice to get a first one, I think. It would take a little bit of pressure off."
The Devils have had their share of leads this season, blowing a three-goal lead against the Edmonton Oilers on Monday before losing 5-4 in a shootout. New Jersey followed up that performance by letting a two-goal lead evaporate into a 3-2 overtime loss to the Vancouver Canucks.
"There's not one thing you can do to protect a lead," DeBoer said. "I think the teams that are good at protecting leads, and we've been a good team in the past at protecting a lead, your fundamentals and your foundation has to be good. If it's a little bit off, you expose yourself to those types of situations.
"I think that's where we're at and that's why we're seeing a couple of things. The foundation of our defensive play isn't exactly where we need it to be."
DeBoer hopes defenseman Adam Larsson can help stabilize that. The 20-year-old will get back into the lineup after being a healthy scratch Tuesday in Vancouver.
"He has to find a way to play with the type of confidence and composure that he had in the preseason in the regular season when it counts," DeBoer said. "We haven't helped our defensemen in general as a group as much as we would like and he's been a little bit of a victim of that. You have to fight through that."
Mark Fayne will sit in Larsson's place, while Ryan Carter will also miss the game with an upper-body injury.
"I would term it day-to-day," DeBoer said. "It's just something he's dealing with. We felt he was going to skate this morning and it kind of flared up and was worse than we felt it would be."
Jacob Josefson will make his season debut in Carter's place.
Here are the projected lineups for the Flames and Devils on Friday night:
Dainius Zubrus - Patrik Elias - Jaromir Jagr
Rostislav Olesz - Travis Zajac - Damien Brunner
Ryane Clowe - Adam Henrique - Michael Ryder
Jacob Josefson - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier
Bryce Salvador - Marek Zidlicky
Andy Greene - Adam Larsson
Anton Volchenkov - Peter Harrold
Scratched: Mark Fayne, Andrei Loktionov
Injured: Mattias Tedenby (lower body), Ryan Carter (upper body)
Curtis Glencross - Ben Street - TJ Galiardi
Lance Bouma - Mikael Backlund - Jiri Hudler
Sven Baertschi - Sean Monahan - Lee Stempniak
Tim Jackman - Joe Colborne - Brian McGrattan
Mark Giordano - TJ Brodie
Kris Russell - Dennis Wideman
Shane O'Brien - Chris Butler
Scratched: Blair Jones, Derek Smith
Injured: Christopher Breen (shoulder), Mike Cammalleri (upper body), Matt Stajan (lower body), David Jones (upper body)