Devils changes: Kovalchuk and Parise split up, Josefson will play in Game 4
After suffering a second 3-0 loss to the Rangers in the Eastern Conference finals, the Devils are testing some new line combinations out.
According to Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice, Devils coach Peter DeBoer broke up his top line at this morning’s practice moving Ilya Kovalchuk to the second line and back to his most natural left wing position. Dainius Zubrus slides up to the top line to play right wing next to Travis Zajac and Zach Parise.
Kovalchuk was on the left side with Adam Henrique and Patrik Elias on the second line. Both Elias and Henrique are centers while Elias’ next best position is left wing. Expect to see Henrique moved to the right wing to accommodate everyone.
The one really curious change saw Petr Sykora replaced by Jacob Josefson on the third line. Josefson has been injured and unable to play since April third thanks to a broken wrist. Josefson, meanwhile, tells NHL.com’s Dan Rosen he’ll play in Game 4 which points to Sykora sitting things out.
The Devils are down just 2-1 in the series but there were clearly things DeBoer saw that he didn’t like in Game 3.