Jun 1, 2012, 6:55 PM EST
Ilya Kovalchuk wasn’t much of a factor in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals and Kings defenseman Drew Doughty deserves some of the credit for that. As we previously reported, the Devils aren’t going to shy away from that matchup.
“In order to get (Kovalchuk) away (from Doughty and Scuderi), we’re going to have to get away from a four-line game, which has been our strength,” Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. “If they’re matching up against Kovalchuk, then they’re not matching up against (Zach) Parise or other guys.”
Kovalchuk seems to be comfortable with the Devils’ plan.
“I don’t really care who I play against, we just have to work as a line, actually a five-man unit because that’s when we’re successful,” Kovalchuk said. “In the third we started moving the puck and we started forechecking better. It doesn’t really matter who you’re playing against, you just have to be on top of your game and let them make decisions.
“I’ve played against some good Ds and figured out how to go through them by doing the things I’m supposed to do. That’s what I will try to do next game.”
Naturally, if the Devils strategy doesn’t work out in Game 2 on Saturday, DeBoer might change his tune. He has embraced significant changes in the past, particularly in the Eastern Conference finals following their shutout losses against New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist in Games 1 and 3.
- Nonis: I’m not firing Carlyle 0
- Steen agrees to extension with Blues — three years, $17.4 million 14
- Engelland suspended five games for ‘reckless’ Abdelkader headshot 27
- The Chip ‘n’ Chase: So many bad contracts, coaches on the hot seat, the NHL in Vegas? and more! 23
- Caps’ Wilson to have hearing for Schenn hit 31
- Is the NHL getting closer to putting a team in Vegas? 31
- Martin Jones gets another shutout, remains undefeated 32
- Video: Tom Wilson gets tossed for charging Brayden Schenn 58
- Video: Kyle Quincey ejected for boarding Ryan Getzlaf 17
- NHL on NBCSN: Third time’s the charm for Flyers vs Capitals? 8
- Updated: NHL suspends Thornton 15 games for Orpik attack (155)
- Janssen: Orpik should’ve fought Thornton, then ‘everything would have quieted down’ (123)
- Bylsma: Neal needs to learn from Marchand hit (114)
- Reports: Thornton will appeal 15-game suspension (107)
- Lucic addresses fight video, says he’s ‘disgusted and outraged’ by Vancouver (101)