NEWARK, N.J. — The New Jersey Devils replaced the fired Pete DeBoer with a three-headed coaching staff.

Former Washington Capitals coach Adam Oates, ex-Devils assistant and star defenseman Scott Stevens and General Manager Lou Lamoriello will split duties on the bench. Oates will handle the forwards and Stevens will oversee the defense, Lamoriello said Saturday.

“I’ll go on the bench to make sure it works for now,” Lamoriello said. “It’s a unique way of approaching things.”

There will be no official head coach for the rest of the season. Lamoriello plans to remain on the bench “until I feel comfortable with the situation.”

DeBoer was fired Friday with the Devils languishing nine points out of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference at 12-17-7. The three-headed coaching staff made its debut Saturday night at the New York Rangers.

“We’re going to feed off each other,” Oates said. “There’s no reason why we can’t work together. Everything happened pretty quickly. But when Lou calls, the answer is always ‘Yes.’.”

Oates went 68-47-17 in two seasons with the Capitals and spent two years with the Devils as an assistant coach, helping them reach the Stanley Cup finals in 2012. He played 19 years in the NHL, including a stint in St. Louis, when he was teammates with Stevens. Oates was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012.

“We have tremendous respect for each other,” Oates said. “We worked together here. We both played here and coached here, so it’s an easy transition for us. It’s kind of a collaboration right now. It’s a team effort and we’re all on the same page.”

Stevens spent 13 seasons with the Devils, much of it as captain. He was an assistant coach with the team until the start of this season, when he had philosophical differences with DeBoer.

Lamoriello, who made his league-record 14th coaching change, said that it wasn’t fair to ask another coach to take over a floundering team midway through a season.

“That’s why we didn’t even consider anyone else,” Lamoriello said.

BLUE JACKETS: Left wing Scott Hartnell was activated from injured reserve, goaltender Anton Forsberg was added to the roster on emergency recall from the Springfield Falcons and center Sean Collins was sent down to the AHL club.