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Devils put a lot of firepower on their top line

Ilya Kovalchuk

NEWARK, NJ - MAY 03: Ilya Kovalchuk #17 of the New Jersey Devils warms up prior to Game Three against the Philadelphia Flyers of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Prudential Center on May 3, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

We reported earlier today that the New Jersey Devils ran with a top line of Ilya Kovalchuk, Travis Zajac, and Zach Parise during their morning skate. It looks like they’re going to stick with that combination as the trio was still paired up for the team’s pre-game warm-up.

This is big change, but not shocking one. The Devils were expected to make some adjustments after they were shut out by the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Devils defeated the Florida Panthers and Philadelphia Flyers in the first two rounds, but the Rangers are their greatest challenge yet from a defensive standpoint. New York is known for its shot-blocking abilities and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has done a great job of dealing with whatever gets past their defense.

Petr Sykora, Patrik Elias, and Dainius Zubrus are projected to make up the second line. The third line will likely be Alexei Ponikarovsky, Adam Henrique, and David Clarkson.