Jacob Josefson has been out of the New Jersey Devils lineup since April 3 with a wrist injury, but he'll return on Monday night as the team faces the New York Rangers in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final. That means somebody has to sit out, and the unlucky one will be veteran forward Petr Sykora.
Coach Pete DeBoer confirmed the switch during his morning news conference prior to Game 4, and he's optimistic about the return of Josefson given the strong finish to his regular season prior to suffering his wrist injury.
"I had a brief conversation with him yesterday, DeBoer said. "Basically just get in, bring us some energy, play like you did the last three, four weeks of the season. He's had a tough year between the injuries and the adversity, really over the last two years, and I really felt the last two, three weeks of the season he had re-found his game and his confidence. If we can get a version of that player in the lineup tonight, we'll be a better team."
Devils blog In Lou We Trust listed five reasons why they're excited for Josefson's return to the lineup, but they also feel badly for Sykora, who's had a tough go of things in the postseason thus far.
With Josefson on the 3rd line, the only other option would have been for Sykora to play on the 4th line, which has been working great during the playoffs and did not need to be tinkered with. The Devils are icing a better lineup with Josefson at third line center and Henrique at second line center and keeping the fourth line intact.
Stick with our StoryStream for full Devils vs. Rangers Game 4 coverage. For more on the Rangers, check in with Blueshirt Banter, and for more on the Devils, check in with In Lou We Trust.