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Elias, Tallinder out as Devils face Rangers

by Dan Rosen
NEWARK, N.J. -- Devils coach Peter DeBoer confirmed that Patrik Elias and Henrik Tallinder both won't play Tuesday night against the Rangers at Prudential Center. Elias is home sick and Tallinder will miss his third straight game with back spasms that cropped up as he was stretching prior to last Friday's game against Dallas.

Travis Zajac will bump up to center the second line between Dainius Zubrus and Petr Sykora. Tim Sestito will get into the lineup and play on the fourth line between Eric Boulton and Cam Janssen.

Zajac made his season debut Friday after rehabbing from Achilles surgery in August. He also play against Saturday in Montreal and has averaged 15:28 of ice time in the two games, but will likely see that number rise against the Rangers.

"A couple of days off was good and I feel ready to go again (Tuesday)," Zajac said. "We want to take it day-by-day still for the next little while, but for now I feel great. I'm ready to play wherever I'm needed and whatever situation they need me to play in."

Zajac still doesn't think he'll play upwards of 19 or 20 minutes yet.

"We have enough guys that can play in enough situations," he told "I don't think they'll throw me into 19 minutes, or even 18, just yet."

DeBoer, though, said the Devils may not have a choice.

"Obviously it's a little sooner than we anticipated and probably more ice than we anticipated," DeBoer said. "We're asking a lot of him, so we'll have to monitor him and make sure he's OK."

DeBoer said Tallinder is getting better, but he's not quite ready to go just yet. Matt Taormina will play in his second straight game.

The Devils' lines and defense pairings should look like this for the start of Tuesday's game:

Zach Parise - Adam Henrique - Ilya Kovalchuk
Petr Sykora - Travis Zajac - Dainius Zubrus
Mattias Tedenby - Ryan Carter - David Clarkson
Eric Boulton - Tim Sestito - Cam Janssen

Matt Taormina - Mark Fayne
Anton Volchenkov - Kurtis Foster
Bryce Salvador - Adam Larsson

Martin Brodeur will start in net. Johan Hedberg will be the backup.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

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