Chris Bourque has clearly been struggling to produce so, with the recently muscled-up Buffalo Sabres in town last night, it was as good a time as any for coach Claude Julien to slide 6-foot-3, 205-pound Lane MacDermid into the lineup and sit the 5-8, 174-pound Bourque.

Bourque had been scoreless with a minus-4 in the first four games. Daniel Paille moved up to the third line with Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley while MacDermid took Paille's spot on the left wing of the fourth line.

Julien said the move was designed to take some pressure off the 27-year-old Bourque, who is trying to stick with his third NHL organization. So far, the skill level that made him a great player in the AHL (93 points in Hershey last year) has not translated to the top league.

"I had a good talk with Chris this morning," said Julien. "I think he's putting a lot of pressure on himself right now. He's certainly not the Chris that we know. I've seen him enough to know that he's a really good skater, he's a really good playmaker, but I think right now he's putting way too much pressure on himself. Hopefully, we can help him through that and once he takes that extra weight off his shoulders you're going to see a player that can certainly be a much more efficient player than he's shown so far."

Though he went unrewarded, Bourque skated well in wins over the Islanders and Hurricanes, but took a step back against the Devils on Tuesday.

Asked what part of his game right now is lacking, Bourque chuckled ruefully and said "Scoring."

"I obviously put a lot of pressure on myself, especially to produce," said Bourque. "When you don't produce, you feel like you're not helping the team win."