Devils hold off Kings

Kings goalie Jonathan Quick makes a glove save during the second period. HARRY HOW / AP
Kings goalie Jonathan Quick makes a glove save during the second period. HARRY HOW / AP

With everything on the line, New Jersey shuffled its lineup and posted a victory.

Posted: June 08, 2012

LOS ANGELES - New Jersey coach Peter DeBoer shook up his lineup with the Devils down to their last gasp in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Forward Petr Sykora and defenseman Henrik Tallinder cracked the lineup for Game 4 on Wednesday night. And the Devils pulled out a 3-1 victory to stay alive. The Kings lead the series, three games to one.

Tallinder has been out since January because of a blood clot, but apparently was ready to play in this series.

"Peter Harrold played great, gave us some good minutes," DeBoer said. "The reality is, Tallinder was a top-two defenseman for us, was all year. He's been out for a long time. This is the first time in the last four or five days where we felt in practice that he was up to game speed and a legitimate option.

"We considered it after Game 2, but our group I thought had played such a good game that I didn't want to change it then. But now it seems appropriate."

Indeed, New Jersey began the night on the brink of being swept in a best-of-seven series for the first time in the three-time champions' franchise history.

"I haven't been playing for a while, so I'm pretty excited to come back and be able to play again," Tallinder said Wednesday. "I think we definitely have to try to start playing our game a little bit more. You know, maybe a little bit more gritty around the boards, a little bit faster pace maybe, trying to interrupt them. I mean, basic things."

The Swedish veteran made two lengthy playoff runs earlier in his career with Buffalo, but hadn't played in the postseason in his two years with New Jersey.

"I feel pretty comfortable in practice, but it's practice," Tallinder said. "Game is a different thing. Yeah, it's the Stanley Cup Final. I mean, how do you prepare for that? Excitement. You know, a lot of jump in your legs. Try not to think too much."

New Jersey scored just two goals in the first three games of the Finals against goalie Jonathan Quick.

That is the impetus behind the return of Sykora, the 10-time 20-goal scorer and two-time champion who is playing in his sixth Stanley Cup Finals.

Sykora wasn't injured, but hadn't played since Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals on May 19. He played in the Finals with New Jersey in 2000 and 2001, then played against the Devils with Anaheim in 2003 before making two more appearances with Pittsburgh in 2008 and 2009.

Sykora had 44 points while playing in all 82 regular-season games in his return to the Devils this season, but has just two goals and two assists in 15 playoff games.

Getting advice from Dad

Devils captain Zach Parise can ask his father how a comeback from an 0-3 playoff deficit is possible.

J.P. Parise did it three times, in a way.

His New York Islanders rallied from 0-3 down to win a second-round series against Pittsburgh in 1975 - and then nearly did it again in the next round against Philadelphia, winning three straight before losing Game 7.

The elder Parise also was on the Canadian national team that won the final three games of the famed 1972 Summit Series against Russia.

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