By Jay Greenberg in NewarkIt Ain't Broke
Moving Zach Parise up with Ilya Kovalchuk and Travis Zajac produced no even strength goals in Game 2, but the Devils won regardless. So that unit - and all Game 2 New Jersey units -- were intact at Friday's practice this afternoon in preparation for Game 3 Saturday (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 1 p.m. ET).
"I think we got the desired effect," said coach Pete DeBoer. "Maybe it didn't translate into five-on-five goals, but I think more than how that line specifically played, it gave us four lines that we could roll and really keep pressure on the other team.
"I like what it allowed us to do with our other three lines, the balance we had."
Henrik Tallinder (blood clot, out since January 17) and Jacob Josefson (ankle since April 3) participated in a full practice Friday for the first time.
"My gut is I think they'll be available at some point in this series," said DeBoer.
John Tortorella, his team physically overmatched along the boards in Game 2, moved up 6'5, 243-pound fourth liner Mike Rupp onto a line with Brian Boyle and Artem Anisimov at practice.
The Rangers' Brandon Dubinsky (ankle), out since Game 7 of the Ottawa series, skated Friday with the team for the first time since, but was wearing a no-contact warning jersey. He is not expected to play in this series.Don't have to put a bow on it
The heretofore-struggling Rangers power play - 18.5 per cent for two rounds plus two games -- has scored three goals in the last two. One Devils goalie Marty Brodeur put in himself as a missed shot come off the backboards, another that changed direction off Chris Kreider's leg and the third, by Kreider, came off the rush.
Therefore, Tortorella is not impressed, but he is appreciative.
"I think it's been pretty crappy at times," said the coach. "We've found a way to score a couple of goals. Kreider has done a good job [in front of the net].
"The power play's a funny thing. Sometimes even when there are some struggles, you find a way. Sometimes when you move the puck very well and it's working well, you don't score.
"So we've scored a couple. Obviously, we've got to come in behind that with some five-on- fives." Drawing a line in the river
"The Rangers play a little differently on the road so we have to take advantage of it," said Ilya Kovalchuk. "Every team is a little stronger at home, the fans give you the extra jump."
Asked about the expected Rangers pushback in Game 3, Kovalchuk said: "It's not about how the Rangers come out, it's about how we come out. They have some guys playing a lot. We have to get on them."
Nothing against the Garden, even if the Garden is against him
After Game 2 Marty Brodeur was not complimentary about Madison Square Garden's ice, boards and glass. He didn't say anything nasty about the popcorn, though.
So the last honest man in the world was asked Friday about the conditions at the Prudential Center.
"Almost as bad," he laughed. "You know, it's tough at this time of the year to get great ice. Buildings are so busy.
"The question was asked how hard it was to play that game, and for me it was because of all the bad bounces everywhere. You know, [Henrik] Lundqvist has to play every game in that building, so it's got to be hard for him to see all these bounces all the time."
Braced for their best
"We know the Rangers are going to push," said DeBoer. "We know they're going to come out and play a great hockey game tomorrow and it's on us to do the same thing.
"So I expect it to be the best game of the series tomorrow from both ends. I think both teams are going to take their game to another level."He never has to score again
Patrik Elias has three goals in 14 playoff games and only one in his last 11, not prime numbers for a second-line centre, but DeBoer says he could care less.
"There are so many other things he does for us on the ice and in all three zones and in the dressing room," said the coach. "If you're inferring his playoff numbers aren't where they should be, I don't even look at that.
"He has an impact on our games on a nightly basis in so many different areas, that's the last stat I look at." Lines and defence pairingsNew Jersey
Volchenkov-Harrold (or Larsson)Goalie
LundqvistFollow Jay Greenberg on Twitter @scribejg.
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