LOS ANGELES -- Former Sabres defenseman Henrik Tallinder is having the time of his life with the Devils after getting back into the lineup and helping them to two straight victories in the Stanley Cup final. The Kings have a 3-2 series lead going into Game Six tonight.
It would be tough to argue he was the reason New Jersey pulled itself back into the best-of-seven series, which resumes in Staples Center, but there's no denying he has made a difference along the blue line. He played very well Saturday in Game Five to extend the series.
"I thought Tallinder was fantastic," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "He skated the puck out of trouble and [had] composure. He was the most rested guy we've got. He was out for five months. You can see the fresh legs and how he looked."
Tallinder made his Cup debut in Game Four after leaving the lineup Jan. 17 with a blot clot in his leg. He had been waiting for the opportunity. The lanky Swede has made an impact with his steady play, experience and long stick. He's having a blast. The Devils are looking to force a seventh game at home with another win.
"After being absent for 4 1/2 months, I love it," Tallinder said. "I’m enjoying and having fun with it. There are a lot of emotions, but what can you say? It’s just fun to be back playing hockey."
--- Bucky Gleason