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Tallinder talked DeBoer into letting him play

Henrik Tallinder, Justin Williams

New Jersey Devils’ Henrik Tallinder, front, of Sweden, and Los Angeles Kings’ Justin Williams compete for the puck in the first period of an NHL hockey game on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)


With the New Jersey Devils down 3-0 in the Stanley Cup finals, Devils coach Pete DeBoer needed to decide if he was going to make any significant roster changes. In terms of defenseman, he had Henrik Tallinder ready and waiting.

Tallinder had fully recovered from a blood clot in his leg, but he was potentially rusty after missing almost five months of playing time. The day before Game 4, DeBoer ultimately decided to go with defenseman Peter Harrold and Anton Volchenkov over Tallinder.

DeBoer went to deliver the news to Tallinder, who took the opportunity to makes his case to the Devils coach.

“Really, where I had a change of heart was in his reaction,” DeBoer said. “It wasn’t negative. He was just adamant he was ready and really thought that he could help and when a player puts his neck on the line like that I got a real comfort level, knowing he’s a veteran guy and knowing how good he was at the top of his game for us as a top two guy that he could help us.”

The move paid off. DeBoer said that Tallinder was “outstanding” and provided “a big boost” for the Devils in their 3-1 victory on Wednesday.

He is projected to remain in the lineup for Game 5 on Saturday.