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Hedberg gets call vs. the Wild

Will face Minnesota on Tuesday

Monday, 01.03.2011 / 3:53 PM / News
By Eric Marin
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Hedberg gets call vs. the Wild
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After recently going nine games between starts, Johan Hedberg will get the nod for the second time in three games when he faces Minnesota on Tuesday.

Hedberg backstopped the Devils to a 3-1win over Atlanta on Friday, then made 15 saves after relieving Martin Brodeur in Saturday’s 6-3 loss at Carolina.

Moose has made appearances in three of the Devils’ last four games, including two in relief. He’s 5-7-1 with a 2.93 goals-against average and one shutout.

The increase in playing time is a big positive, but he's not looking to anything beyond Tuesday.

“I’m taking it one game at a time and find the joy in things,” Hedberg said. “For me, that’s a big part. I want this to be fun. It hasn’t been as much fun as I was hoping for. Have to turn it around and get better, work hard, and enjoy ourselves out there.”

Following Monday's practice at AmeriHealth Pavilion, head coach Jacques Lemaire was asked his thinking on the decision.

“My thinking?” Lemaire responded. “Win a game. I went with Marty (in Carolina), didn’t win. Come back with (Hedberg) and we’ll see after.”

Brodeur is working hard to regain his Hall of Fame form. He’s 5-18-1 this year and has allowed three or more goals in six of his last seven appearances since blanking Phoenix on Dec. 15.

So what does he need to get back on track? It sounds simple enough.

"The puck to hit me,” Brodeur said. “That’s the bottom line. That’s what I’m trying to get back at. I don’t know if it’s positioning or working through traffic or working through anything. I’m just trying to get that puck to hit me again.”

The struggle for wins certainly is new territory for the League’s all-time leader.

“Yeah definitely,” he said. “Not just personally, but I think as a team. I’m always part of the team. As a team, we haven’t gone through these stretches that I remember. It’s definitely not something fun.”

Brodeur is putting in extra time during practices and was still on the ice Monday after many of the Devils had already shed their equipment.

He’s the NHL’s all-time leader in games played, and has appeared in 70-plus in 11 of the last 12 seasons. A left elbow injury limited him to 31 games in 2008-09.

“I want to play a lot like always and that will never change,” he said. “It’s got to be fun for me to play hockey and not winning is not fun. We get back winning and I’ll play more. But I don’t deserve to be in there when you don’t win. That’s the bottom line. I’ve been winning my whole career, and now it’s been a little tougher so it’s normal. If it works, good. It’s all about the team.”

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