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Josefson in, Sykora out for ECF Game 4

Monday, 05.21.2012 / 1:25 PM ET / News
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Josefson in, Sykora out for ECF Game 4



NEWARK, N.J. -- There were no new surprises with regard to lineup changes on the ice for the New Jersey Devils on Monday during the team's morning skate at Prudential Center.

Coach Pete DeBoer created a bit of stir with several new combinations at Sunday's practice, including the insertion of center Jacob Josefson on the team's third line. The coach confirmed on Monday that Josefson would replace Petr Sykora in the lineup.

What does he expect from Josefson?

"Basically just get in, bring us some energy, play like you did the last three, four weeks of the season," DeBoer said. "He's had a tough year between the injuries and the adversity, really over the last two years and I really felt the last two, three weeks of the season, he had re-found his game and his confidence. If we can get a version of that player in the lineup [Monday], we'll be a better team."

The Devils have scored just three goals in three games against the New York Rangers and goalie Henrik Lundqvist in this best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals series that resumes Monday at Prudential Center with Game 4. The Rangers will be looking to take a commanding 3-1 series lead back to Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.

Josefson, who hasn't played since fracturing his left wrist against the Islanders on April 3, will center the Devils' third line between Alexei Ponikarovsky and David Clarkson.

"I've been playing with those guys before and they're both really good at using their body and protecting the puck and creating chances," Josefson told NHL.com. "It's fun to play with them. There may be some nervousness, but that's normal, that's good. When you're a little nervous you know you're ready."

When Sykora finished his skate, a throng of media members surrounded his stall, prompting the veteran forward to smile and proclaim, "I don't get this much media attention when I play."

Josefson, who was limited to 41 games during the regular season because of injuries, had two goals and nine points.

Similar to Sunday, DeBoer had Travis Zajac between Zach Parise and Dainius Zubrus on the top line and rookie Adam Henrique centering the second line between Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias.

"When the team is struggling to score goals, we're trying to mix, and [line changes] always happens," Kovalchuk said. "So [me and Elias] played together before, during the season. He's a great playmaker, always in a great position. So I think we can help each other a lot and create a lot of chances and hang in there. He can skate, and he's great with the puck so I'm really excited to play with Elias [on Monday]."

The only players who will play in Monday's game, but did not skate at the optional practice were defensemen Bryce Salvador and Andy Greene.

Here are the probable line combinations for Monday:

Zach Parise - Travis Zajac - Dainius Zubrus

Patrik Elias - Adam Henrique - Ilya Kovalchuk

Alexei Ponikarovsky - Jacob Josefson - David Clarkson

Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier

Andy Greene - Mark Fayne

Bryce Salvador - Marek Zidlicky

Anton Volchenkov - Peter Harrold

Martin Brodeur

Johan Hedberg

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 53 40 9 4 171 117 84
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 NYI 53 29 18 6 150 131 64
5 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
6 BOS 54 29 19 6 153 146 64
7 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 PHI 53 24 20 9 127 138 57
12 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
13 OTT 56 25 25 6 157 173 56
14 CBJ 56 22 28 6 140 173 50
15 BUF 55 21 28 6 125 151 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
L. Stempniak 55 15 25 6 40
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
A. Henrique 53 18 18 14 36
K. Palmieri 55 20 15 3 35
T. Zajac 47 8 18 7 26
D. Schlemko 47 6 9 -8 15
A. Larsson 55 2 11 12 13
D. Severson 51 1 12 -1 13
A. Greene 55 4 6 2 10
J. Josefson 44 3 7 -14 10
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 24 16 6 .930 2.01
K. Kinkaid 3 5 1 .909 2.52
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