From what Devils coach Brent Sutter said after tonights' game, it sounded as if the line changes he made during the 4-0 victory over the Avalanche might not have been just for tonight.
In search of offense from a line other than the Zach Parise-Travis Zajac-Jamie Langenbrunner combination, which accounted for three goals and five assists tonight, Sutter again took Dainius Zubrus off the line with Patrik Elias and Brian Gionta. Elias shifted to center and skated between Brian Rolston and Gionta.
Zubrus moved down to center a line between Brendan Shanahan and David Clarkson and John Madden technically was the center on the fourth line between Jay Pandolfo and Bobby Holik. Madden and Holik said they shared the centering duties, though.
"It was just a gut feeling at the time." Sutter said of the line changes. "You try to keep the guys sharp outside of Trav's line. There's little things that we've tried in different games here in the last couple of weeks. With Pando back in the lineup, Pando played well tonight. He worked pretty hard and did a lot of smart things.
"It's just a feel. Whether it stays that way Saturday, we'll see. But, with the way we played, there's no reason to have to change it unless I get a different feel tomorrow."
Pandolfo had been a healthy scratch for 12 of the previous 15 games, but might have earned another game on Saturday. As for Madden and Holik, both have played a lot of center, so they tried to take advantage of that.
"Bobby and I had an agreement," Madden explained. "If he was first man back, he was center and I was right wing and if I was first man back, I was center. Then, I would take faceoffs on my backhand and he would take him on his backhand, so we just worked it out."
Holik said he enjoyed playing with Madden and Pandolfo, who have a long history as checking linemates.
"It's easier because you know what they're going to do," Holik said. "There's something to be said about knowing about chemistry."