NEWARK, N.J. — The New Jersey Devils have been on a slide since going to the Stanley Cup final in 2012, and Coach Pete DeBoer paid the price.

DeBoer, who took the Devils to the championship round in his first season, was fired Friday, with his aging and shorthanded team in danger of missing the playoffs for a third straight season.

Lou Lamoriello, the Devils’ president and general manager, won’t say who will be the next coach until he speaks Saturday with the players, who were on a three-day Christmas break. The Devils will skate at the Prudential Center on Saturday morning before playing the Rangers in New York that night.

There are a number of potential candidates, including Adam Oates, a former Devils assistant; Dallas Eakins, who was fired earlier this month by Edmonton; and former Penguins coach Dan Bylsma.

Lamoriello has hired a couple of former Montreal Canadiens coaches to lead New Jersey, and Jacques Martin has been in the press box to watch the Devils in their last three home games. He was an assistant under Bylsma last season and was promoted to senior adviser of hockey operations.

New Jersey has been hit with injuries in a 12-17-7 season. It has not won consecutive games since early last month, going 3-8-5 in its last 16.

DeBoer is the third NHL coach to be fired this season, following Paul MacLean in Ottawa and Eakins.

DeBoer was 114-93-41 in his three-plus seasons with the Devils. Before coming to New Jersey, he coached the Florida Panthers for three years, never making the playoffs.

ADD FORWARD Steve Downie and goaltender Thomas Greiss to the list of Pittsburgh Penguins dealing with the mumps.

The team said both tested positive for the virus and will remain in isolation. Forward Brandon Sutter tested negative. All three missed Pittsburgh’s two-game road swing through Florida.

Captain Sidney Crosby, forward Beau Bennett and defensemen Olli Maatta were previously diagnosed with the virus.

SHELDON KENNEDY hopes receiving one of Canada’s top honors will help draw attention to child abuse.

The 45-year-old former NHL player, sexually abused by his junior hockey coach in the 1980s, is one of 95 admissions and promotions to the Order of Canada.

“I’m not doing this work to win awards for Sheldon Kennedy,” Kennedy said. “I’m doing this work because I understand the damage that this crime has on our kids. And it’s killing our kids.”

Kennedy has opened an advocacy center in Calgary, Alberta, and become a leading voice for sexual abuse victims following his experience with former major junior coach Graham James.

FOR THE first time since he was fired by the Flyers three games into last season, Peter Laviolette, now the coach of the Predators, will face Philadelphia Saturday night in Nashville.

Jake Voracek can’t wait.

“I’m sure he’s going to be pretty fired up,” said Voracek, the Flyers right winger who leads the NHL with 46 points, “and I’m pretty excited about it.”

The Flyers have won three in a row, but extending that streak will be difficult. Nashville, in its first season under Laviolette, is 22-9-2 and in second place in the Central Division.

“He’s doing a great job there. They’ve been hot and playing really well,” said Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds. “It’s going to be a challenge for us.”

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