WHAT IT MEANS: Peter DeBoer pushed all the right buttons. The Devils coach decided to shake-up his line combinations to try and find some offense, and it worked. New Jersey’s newly formed second line of Petr Sykora, Patrik Elias and Dainus Zubrus combined for three goals and three assists in the final 6 minutes, 48 seconds of the second period as the Devils went on to snap a two-game losing streak on Tuesday night in Los Angeles, beating the Kings for the second time this season.
STEADY HEDDY: Johan Hedberg improved to 4-1-1 on the season after stopping all 31 shots he faced to earn his first shutout of the season and 18th of his career. Martin Brodeur (shoulder rehab) likely won’t play in the next two games, but the way Hedberg is performing in net, that may not matter.
TOO E-Z: The Devils finally cashed in after missing a couple golden opportunities when Andy Greene’s point shot rebounded off Zubrus and in at 13:12 of the second. Elias drove home a cross-ice pass from Sykora at 15:31, and Zubrus drilled a slapper shortside at 18:26. For Zubrus, those were his first two tallies of the season, while Elias notched his fourth goal of the year and moved within eight goals of tying John MacLean for the franchise’s all-time lead in that department (347).
CH-CH-CH CHANGES: DeBoer’s team ranked 29th out of 30 NHL teams in scoring (1.83 goals a game) coming in, so prior to the contest he moved Zach Parise from left wing to center between Ilya Kovalchuk and Nick Palmieri on the top line. It looked like a desperation move, and probably was given that injuries to Travis Zajac and Jacob Josefsen have depleted the team's depth up the middle, but Parise and Kovalchuk proved to be a formidable tandem. Parise has played center before in college.
DeBoer also put Henrik Tallinder with rookie Adam Larsson in a move that seemed well overdue. They’re both Swedes and Tallinder played on a pairing with first-year phenom Tyler Mylers in Buffalo. Mark Fayne was paired with Greene.
IRON UNKIND: David Clarkson and Adam Henrique both hit the post. Clarkson thought he’d scored with 3:34 left in the first, but the goal was wiped off the board by the officials because Tallinder was in the crease.
LUCKY: Los Angeles goaltender Jonathan Quick had three straight shutouts, but coach Terry Murray had decided over the weekend he was going to sit him in favor of backup Jonathan Bernier. Bad judgment.
UP NEXT: The Devils (4-2-1) continue their west coast road swing in Phoenix on Thursday night. Puck drops at 10 p.m.