NEWS

 
  • PRINT
  • RSS

Returns of Sykora, Tallinder pay dividends

Friday, 06.8.2012 / 10:37 AM ET / News
NHL.com
X
Share with your Friends


Returns of Sykora, Tallinder pay dividends

NEWARK -- Not many NHL teams can add 166 games worth of postseason experience overnight. But with his team down 3-0 to the Los Angeles Kings heading into Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final in Los Angeles and in need of a spark, Devils coach Peter DeBoer saw an opportunity to do just that.

DeBoer added a mega-dose of playoff experience for Game 4 by dressing defenseman Henrik Tallinder, who returned to the lineup after being out since Jan. 17 with blood clots in his leg, as well as forward Petr Sykora, who had been a healthy scratch since Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Neither player had a point in Game 4, but both played well in the Devils' season-saving 3-1 win.

"They gave us a real shot of energy," said DeBoer, who showed concern for Tallinder because the blood clot forced the defenseman to remain mobile during the team's cross-country flight on Thursday. "Whenever you're out for an extended period, you worry about how they're going to get their timing. They had no hesitation when you talked to them about going back in, and that’s how they played.”

There aren't many NHL players with more postseason experience than Sykora, who's appearing in his sixth Stanley Cup Final with three teams -- he earned rings with the Devils in 2000 and with Pittsburgh in 2009. DeBoer put Sykora with Dainius Zubrus and longtime friend and teammate Patrik Elias, adding some life to a line that hadn't shown much in the series. The trio opened the scoring in the third period in Game 4 on a goal by Elias, giving New Jersey its first lead of the Final. Elias' backhander past Jonathan Quick was his first goal in two weeks and just his third goal since Game 3 of the Devils' opening-round series against Florida.

"He's obviously a very experienced player," Zubrus said of Sykora. "Me, him and Patrik played for pretty much most of the season. He knows where to be and how to support. In that way, I think we read off each other, whether it's forecheck or backcheck. I thought he played really goods. He seemed like he never missed a beat."

Playing his first playoff game in more than two years, Tallinder found himself on both the penalty kill and power play during his 19:21 in ice time. It was a strong return for a blueliner who played in back-to-back Eastern Conference Finals with Buffalo in 2006 and 2007. In the first of those runs with the Sabres, Tallinder notched a goal and an assist in a Game 5 win that sent his team to the Conference Final. The following year, he logged an impressive 30:37 of ice time in a Game 5 overtime loss that sent Ottawa to its first Cup Final.

The decision to dress Tallinder and Sykora was the latest in a series of postseason moves by DeBoer and his staff that have generated positive results.

"With how much homework that they do, whatever they seem to change, we see the results right away," captain Zach Parise said of the coaching staff. "We believe in what they're saying and the way they want us to play. Throughout the whole playoffs, we've played a couple of games a certain way and then we find a different thing to do and find out that it works."

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Palmieri 82 30 27 3 57
A. Henrique 80 30 20 10 50
T. Zajac 74 14 28 3 42
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
D. Severson 72 1 20 -8 21
R. Boucher 39 8 11 -13 19
D. Schlemko 67 6 13 -22 19
J. Moore 73 4 15 -12 19
A. Larsson 82 3 15 15 18
J. Blandisi 41 5 12 -14 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 27 25 6 .924 2.15
K. Kinkaid 9 9 1 .904 2.81
Advertisement
Advertisement