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Henrique questionable for Tues, depth at center lacking

Rookie center Adam Henrique remains questionable for Tuesday's game against the Jets, posing yet another test for the organizational's depth at the center position.

The 21-year-old, who missed Saturday's 2-1 win over Winnipeg with a pulled groin, skated laps to test his injury Monday morning but did not participate in the Devils regular practice session that followed.

Henrique, who was recently selected as one of two Devils representatives for this month's All-Star weekend, said he has improved since the weekend but is unsure whether he'll be available Tuesday.

"I felt pretty good," Henrique said. "We're just day-to-day. See how it feels tomorrow and go from there."

If Henrique is unable to play, the Devils will be without their top three centers. Travis Zajac is on injured reserve with a sore Achilles and Jacob Josefson is playing on a conditioning stint in Albany after breaking his clavicle back in October.

It is possible Josefson could return Tuesday -- he has played two games in three days with Albany -- although the more likely scenario has the Devils looking to fill a large void up the middle.

With Henrique, Josefson, and Zajac out, wingers Dainius Zubrus, Patrik Elias and Ryan Carter have been moved to the middle, while AHL call-up Steve Zalewski has centered the fourth line.

"They don't get bigger than that," coach Pete DeBoer said. "You've got three guys playing out of position centering your top three lines. It's not ideal but everybody in the league deals with that and you've got to just get through it."

The 25-17-2 Devils have fared well without Zajac and Josefson for virtually the whole first-half of the season -- in part because of Henrique's stellar 34-point effort -- but DeBoer sometimes catches himself thinking about the team's potential once all three centers return healthy.

"Sure you do," he said. "You have to catch yourself sometimes because very rarely do you get to the point where you have everyone healthy. You get those guys back and another hole will pop up somewhere, but if we can get to that point I think that can solve some of the things that get us into trouble, and that's having to overplay our top guys because our depth isn't where it needs to be."