Desperate for offense, the Devils might turn back to a familiar face in Game 4.
That was the word from practice at the Toyota Center on Tuesday as New Jersey skated with a new look.
Petr Sykora, the 35-year-old veteran that’s yet to play in the Stanley Cup finals, skated on the second line with Patrik Elias and Dainius Zubrus.
Adam Henrique returned to center the third line between Alexei Ponikarovsky and David Clarkson while the top line of Zach Parise, Travis Zajac and Ilya Kovalchuk and the fourth line of Ryan Carter, Stephen Gionta and Steve Bernier both remained intact.
The odd man out? Jacob Josefson. He centered the third line through the first three games, but on Tuesday skated with the fifth line as one of the extra forwards (Eric Boulton and Cam Janssen.)
It’s pretty obvious that head coach Peter DeBoer wants more offense from his group, and Sykora could aid in the search for goals. He had 44 points in 82 games this season including 21 goals, fifth-most on the team. Sykora could also help out New Jersey’s awful power play, as he’s one of just six Devils to score on the man advantage this postseason.
Dubinsky won’t change, and he won’t go easy on Crosby
“Nope,” Dubinsky said. “You know, I’ve played the same way my whole career and I’m not going to change. The next time I have an opportunity to play (Crosby), I’m going to play him hard.”
In case you’re wondering, that next opportunity comes on Dec. 21 in Pittsburgh, assuming that both players are healthy and not suspended.
One can understand Dubinsky’s perspective, although such honesty would be that much more interesting if there’s another incident with Crosby. His initial reaction to the hit was interestingly candid, admitting that his “stick rode up” on his adversary.
Would that stance – which, from a harsher view, might seem flippant to Dubinsky’s critics – open the door for a bigger future bit of a discipline?
Maybe, maybe not … but at least his comments aren’t as inflammatory as what John Tortorella said (at least on the record).
Bad news for Boedker: Coyotes won’t face Sens again in 2015-16