NEWARK, N.J. --
The New Jersey Devils
returned to the ice for practice on Friday at AmeriHealth Pavilion following their day off to begin serious preparations for the New York Rangers
in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
"We know the Rangers are going to come out and play a great hockey game, so it's on us to do the same thing," Devils coach Pete DeBoer said. "I expect it to be the best game of the series on Saturday from both ends because both teams want to take their game to another level."
The best-of-seven series, which is 1-1, resumes Saturday afternoon here at Prudential Center.
Devils forward David Clarkson
, who scored the game-winning goal on Wednesday in a 3-2 victory at Madison Square Garden, said getting a day off the ice benefits the team.
"It's nice to get rest in the playoffs," Clarkson said. "Everyone is banged up, and to be able to spend time with the family and get a day away, and then get back to work, is nice. You can see everyone in [the locker room] is laughing and having fun. You guys can see how fun this locker room is."
In addition to the usual game day starters, forward Jacob Josefson
and defenseman Henrik Tallinder
also practiced with the team for the first time since suffering their injuries.
Josefson missed 37 games earlier this season with a broken clavicle and has been out of the lineup since April 3 with a non-displaced fracture of the left wrist. Tallinder hasn't played since Jan. 17 since being diagnosed with a blood clot in his lower leg.
"My gut is they'll be available at some point in the series," DeBoer said of Tallinder and Josefson. "So [they had their] first practice with the regular team [on Saturday]. They've been practicing with our AHL team, but it's a great step."
DeBoer also said his official lineup will be determined after pre-game warmups on Saturday.
Here were the line combinations at Friday's practice:
- Travis Zajac
- Ilya Kovalchuk
- Patrik Elias
- Dainius Zubrus
- Adam Henrique
- David Clarkson
- Stephen Gionta
- Steve Bernier
Extras: Eric Boulton
- Jacob Josefson
- Cam Janssen
- Mark Fayne
- Marek Zidlicky
- Peter Harrold
Extras: Henrik Tallinder
- Adam Larsson
Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale