SUNRISE, Fla. --
The possible returns of goalie Jose Theodore
and defenseman Jason Garrison
to the Florida Panthers
lineup won't change much in terms of strategy for the New Jersey Devils
in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series on Thursday at BankAtlantic Center.
To a man, Devils players believe that if it can replicate the effort put forth in Game 6, when they outshot the Panthers 42-16 en route to a 3-2 overtime victory, they'll be in good shape.
"I would expect our approach to be like it was last game with a little desperation," Devils captain Zach Parise
said. "We can't afford to come out lifeless and without energy. We can't allow them to get the crowd going. If we play our game, we should be fine."
The last time Theodore was in goal, he posted a 30-save, 3-0 victory in Sunrise in Game 5.
"Theodore has played solid here against us and he's given them an opportunity to win," Devils forward Patrik Elias
said. "But it's more about us and how we play."
When Garrison was in the lineup, the Panthers were converting at a 60-percent clip on the power play (6 for 10) over the first three games of the series. In the last three games without him, the club has scored just one goal with the man advantage on 13 chances.
"He a big part of their power play and we have to be aware of him," Parise said. "[Brian] Campbell likes to walk it down the wall and give it to him for one timers, so we have to try and take that pass away. Both those guys like to jump up into the play, but we've done a pretty good job of limiting them. One of their strengths is their offense from the back end, but we've done a good job."
The Panthers have gotten three of their 15 goals in this series from defensemen, all in a Game 3 victory.
Here are the projected lineups for the Devils in Game 7:
- Travis Zajac
- Ilya Kovalchuk
- Patrik Elias
- Dainius Zubrus
- Adam Henrique
- David Clarkson
- Stephen Gionta
- Steve Bernier
- Mark Fayne
- Marek Zidlicky
- Peter Harrold
Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale