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.