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MacLean turns to Hedberg vs. Caps

Monday, 11.22.2010 / 1:19 PM / News
By Eric Marin
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MacLean turns to Hedberg vs. Caps
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The Devils have a tough task ahead as they get set to host the League-leading Washington Capitals tonight. But head coach John MacLean is encouraged by his team’s effort in Saturday’s game at St. Louis.

Though they wound up on the short end of a 3-2 final, the Devils scored 26 seconds into the game, then established a 2-1 lead before the Blues rallied. They put 37 shots on Jaroslav Halak, as St. Louis allowed more than 31 shots on home ice for the first time all season.

“We had the opportunities,” MacLean said this morning. “I wish we would’ve gone up 3-1 when we did there, but we weren’t able to score. We had those opportunities in the second. We have to be ready right off the start again, be conscious of our positioning, our third man, limit the odd number situations, and manage the puck properly.”

Tonight’s game is the second of four meetings between the teams. The Devils (5-13-2) suffered a 7-2 loss at Washington (14-5-2) back on Oct. 9. Johan Hedberg, who relieved Martin Brodeur in that game to start the third period, starts tonight.

In their second game of the season, New Jersey built a 2-1 advantage only to see the Capitals score six unanswered, including an Alex Ovechkin penalty shot.

Ovechkin and teammate Alex Semin are tied for third overall with 26 points. With 22 points, Nicklas Backstrom's the third Cap among the top 20 scorers in the League.

“They embarrassed us last game,” the coach said. “They lit us up pretty good. They’re a high-flying team, they can put the puck in the net, so we’re going to have to be aware of that, manage it properly, and pay attention to all our details.”

MacLean went with St. Louis native Mike McKenna against the Blues. He registered 24 saves in his hometown debut. Two unfortunate plays – a late whistle and a bad bounce off the end boards – separated McKenna from a better outcome.

“I felt Mike was going to give us the best opportunity to win, so that’s what I went with,” MacLean said. “You have to make those decisions and tonight Heddy’s going to play. We look for Heddy to have a good game for us. I think he’s going to give us the best chance to win tonight.”

The Devils recalled defenseman Mark Fayne from Albany (AHL) under emergency conditions, but MacLean indicated he had yet to make a decision on his d-men tonight.

“I told the seven D to be ready,” MacLean said. “He’s been playing well down there, so we’ll see. We may put him in. He’s a right-hand shot, so we’ll see.”

Fayne, 23, was New Jersey’s fifth choice in 2005. He has one goal, three assists in 16 games with Albany this season, his first in the AHL. After notching the game-winner in a 4-0 triumph at Rochester on Saturday, he’s hoping to make his NHL debut tonight.

“It’s been going well,” Fayne said of his first year with the 8-9-0-0 A-Devils. “We hit a bit of a rough patch past couple of weeks, but this past weekend we got out of it with two big wins. It looks like we’re getting back on track.”

His parents will travel from Sagamore Beach, Cape Cod, to be at tonight’s game.

“I’m just trying to experience everything and make the best of it,” said Fayne. He has spent time on the Albany penalty kill, and plays a defense-first style.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 82 24 43 16 67
P. Elias 65 18 35 -4 53
T. Zajac 80 18 30 3 48
A. Henrique 77 25 18 3 43
M. Zidlicky 81 12 30 -3 42
M. Ryder 82 18 16 -6 34
A. Greene 82 8 24 3 32
E. Gelinas 60 7 22 -3 29
D. Zubrus 82 13 13 1 26
R. Clowe 43 7 19 -10 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 16 15 12 .921 1.97
M. Brodeur 19 14 6 .901 2.51