Will Lineup Changes make a Difference for the New Jersey Devils?

By Dawn Miller
New Jersey Devils: Will Changes on Defense Bring a Win?
Robert Mayer-US Presswire

After losing a two goal lead to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the defense of the New Jersey Devils underwent some changes in their match up against the Florida Panthers.

Adam Larsson returned after sitting out last night’s shootout loss to the Lightning as a healthy scratch.

Henrik Tallinder, who has been sidelined with an ankle injury he suffered in the pre-game warm ups on March 7 against the Buffalo Sabres, was reactivated from injured reserve.

Coach Pete DeBoer said in an interview with Tom Gulitti on his Fire and Ice blog that he was mulling over some personnel changes this evening.

Russian defenseman, Anton Volchenkov rode the bench for the final seven minutes of the game as well as the entire overtime. Volchenkov was also a minus three, being on the ice for three of Tampa Bay’s goals.

However, DeBoer insisted to Gulitti that that wasn’t the reason Volchenkov will sit against the Panthers.

“I don’t think it was his best game, but I don’t single him out for anything,” DeBoer explained.

Defenseman Peter Harrold, who sat for almost the entire start of the season, was a minus three as well and will head to the stands once again. Last night wasn’t a great game for him either.

In order to make room for Tallinder on the roster, Finnish forward, Harri Pesonen was returned to the team’s AHL affiliate in Albany.

While the Devils scored more than two goals against the Lightning, they were unable to hold it or put in a goal during the shootout. Both Travis Zajac and Patrick Elias came up empty.

The scoring woes continued this evening. It started out promising enough with Steve Bernier knocking in one early in the first period, ending a 14 game drought. However, even though they out shot the Panthers, the two teams still went to the locker room tied at one.

Bernier finally broke the knot with his second of the night midway through the final period.

The defense didn’t seem to play with any added fire, but they didn’t give up much either. The shots were few and far between for the Panthers in the third. With the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders both coming up on the losing end today, the Devils needed to skate away with two important points. Yet, with 27 seconds left and an extra attacker on the ice, they once more gave up the tying goal and headed to overtime. It didn’t take long for bad to turn to worse with the Panthers taking away the important extra point.

For the Devils, it may take more than some tinkering with the lineup to bring about some wins because they are running out of time.



Dawn Miller is a New Jersey Devils writer for Rant Sports. Follow her on Twitter, “Like” her on Facebook or add her to your network on Google.




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