Saturday, June 2, 2012
Tallinder available for series, will go to LA
By Katie Strang
Although Devils coach Pete DeBoer assured there will be no lineup changes for Game 2 Saturday, he said defenseman Henrik Tallinder will be available this series.
The 33-year-old veteran has not played since January 17 because of a blood clot in his lower left leg, although he is cleared to play and was listed as a healthy scratch in Game 1.
A Devils spokesperson confirmed Tallinder will travel with the team to Los Angeles for Games 3 and 4, although he was not made available to the media today.
"You might see him as the series goes forward here," DeBoer hinted after the Devils' optional morning skate.
Before he was sidelined, Tallinder was one of the Devils' best puck-moving defensemen -- an asset that could be useful against a relentless, aggressive Kings forecheck that gave New Jersey trouble in the series opener on Wednesday.
DeBoer sounded willing to entertain Tallinder as a possibility, despite the Swedish blue-liner's lengthy layoff.
"Well, you're never sure. I do know this: I know he's kept himself in great shape," DeBoer said. "He looks good in practice. Before he went out, he was a top-two defenseman for us."
The Devils have received key contributions this post-season from other players returning from injury. Both center Travis Zajac (achilles) and Jacob Josefson (wrist) bounced back from shortened seasons to play vital roles as New Jersey rolled through the Eastern Conference this playoff run.
"It didn't hurt Zajac coming back in. I know you're jumping into the Stanley Cup Final, not into the last week of the regular season. But, Josefson jumped in last round against the Rangers coming off six weeks out with a broken wrist, and it didn't hurt him," DeBoer said.
"You know, you hope you get the desired result, but you never know."