PITTSBURGH -- New Jersey Devils forward Patrik Elias is expected to skate Thursday against the Pittsburgh Penguins despite a groin injury, while Penguins forward James Neal is a game-time decision with an upper-body injury.
The Devils cleared a roster spot to activate Elias by placing defenseman Alexander Urbom on waivers Wednesday; he was claimed Thursday by the Washington Capitals.
Neal skated briefly at practice Wednesday, but left the ice when he decided he wasn't well enough to continue.
While Neal is questionable, Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta will make his NHL debut. The 2012 first-round pick (No. 22) had impressed Penguins coaches and management with his performance during training camp, and Kris Letang's injury opened a spot for his debut.
Corey Schneider will start in goal for the Devils, with Martin Brodeur serving as the backup. It will be the first time since the start of the 1993-94 season that Brodeur wasn't the Devils' opening-game starter in net. Coach Peter DeBoer said Brodeur will start the team's home opener Friday against the New York Islanders.
Here are the lineups the teams likely will use Thursday:
Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis
Jussi Jokinen - Evgeni Malkin - Joe Vitale
Chuck Kobasew - Brandon Sutter - Beau Bennett
Tanner Glass - Dustin Jeffrey - Craig Adams
Brooks Orpik - Paul Martin
Rob Scuderi - Matt Niskanen
Olli Maatta - Robert Bortuzzo
Scratched: Deryk Engelland
Injured: Matt D'Agostini (lower body), James Neal (upper body), Kris Letang (leg), Tomas Vokoun (blood clot)
Ryane Clowe - Patrik Elias - Damien Brunner
Adam Henrique - Travis Zajac - Jaromir Jagr
Dainius Zubrus - Andrei Loktionov - Michael Ryder
Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier
Bryce Salvador - Marek Zidlicky
Andy Greene - Adam Larsson
Anton Volchenkov - Peter Harrold
Scratched: Jacob Josefson, Rostislav Olesz, Mark Fayne