Kyle Okposo's numbers haven't improved, but his play has gotten better.
Okposo had no points and a minus-7 rating in his previous five games, but the switch to a line with Josh Bailey and Frans Nielsen -- a line that helped Okposo produce nine goals in the final nine games of last season -- made for some more positive work Thursday against the Rangers. That continued Saturday night despite nothing to show for it on the scoresheet.
"I haven't really tried to do anything different, I just need a bounce or something," said Okposo, who played a season-low 12:29 Saturday night. He didn't see more than 14:57 of ice time in the previous four games after getting at least 16:37 a game in the previous nine. He's also been pulled from the second power-play unit after his slow start, with his only goal of the season coming in the second game, on Jan. 21.
As for the reunited Bailey-Nielsen-Okposo line, Okposo said: "I thought we played a pretty good game [Thursday]. We created some opportunities, had some good cycling down low. We do work pretty well together."
David Ullstrom returned from a one-game absence as a healthy scratch and Eric Boulton took a seat Saturday night against the Devils. Ullstrom skated with Michael Grabner and Keith Aucoin, with Jack Capuano keeping the energy line of Matt Martin, Casey Cizikas and Colin McDonald together. That trio even started Saturday night's game after it sparked a comeback from a 2-0 deficit against the Rangers on Thursday.
Marty Reasoner was a scratch for the fourth straight game. Capuano went with the same six defensemen as Thursday, leaving Thomas Hickey out as a healthy scratch again.
Defenseman Matt Carkner (lower body) could be ready to come off injured reserve for Monday afternoon's game against the Flyers.