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Sykora appears set to return to Devils lineup

by Dave Lozo

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- It took three straight losses, but Devils coach Peter DeBoer appears to be ready to tweak his lineup during the Stanley Cup Final.

Forward Petr Sykora will apparently return to the lineup for Game 4 on Wednesday night and replace Jacob Josefson, who snagged Sykora's spot in the lineup after Game 2 of the conference finals against the Rangers.

Sykora skated at practice Tuesday afternoon on a line with Patrik Elias and Dainius Zubrus while Josefson was skating with Cam Janssen and Eric Boulton as part of the extra fifth line. DeBoer wouldn't say for certain Sykora is back, but he said he's considering the switch.

"He's an option for us," DeBoer said. "We're going to consider him. We haven't scored and he's a guy who doesn't need a lot of looks to stick one in the net."

Josefson has one assist in six games after missing nearly two months with a broken his left wrist. Sykora has 2 goals and two assists in 15 postseason contests and brings 130 games of postseason experience and two Stanley Cups to the lineup.

"I'm ready to go and hopefully I can bring some spark to the team," said Sykora, who all but confirmed he'll be in the lineup. "I'll try to get some goals and hopefully we can bring this series back to Jersey."

The Devils' defense pairings remained unchanged, meaning Henrik Tallinder and Adam Larsson will once again watch from the press box.

Here is the likely lineup the Devils will ice in Game 4:

Petr Sykora - Patrik Elias - Dainius Zubrus
Zach Parise - Travis Zajac - Ilya Kovalchuk
Alexei Ponikarovsky - Adam Henrique - David Clarkson
Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier

Andy Greene - Mark Fayne
Bryce Salvador - Marek Zidlicky
Anton Volchenkov - Peter Harrold

Martin Brodeur
Johan Hedberg

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo

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