• RSS

Hedberg to start against Hurricanes

Monday, 10.10.2011 / 11:15 AM ET / News
By Eric Marin
Share with your Friends

Hedberg to start against Hurricanes
Peter DeBoer confirmed this morning that Johan Hedberg will start today’s 1 p.m. matinee versus Carolina at Prudential Center.

Martin Brodeur got the call for his 17th consecutive season opener in Saturday's 3-0 loss to the Flyers.

“This is a marathon and we’ve got nine games this month,” DeBoer said. “We’re going to need both guys and both guys, I’m comfortable, can play. The big picture of this is we’ve got 81 games to go and we’re going to need both guys.”

Hedberg, who’s making his 2011-12 debut, had three wins in four appearances against the Hurricanes last season.

“I talked to Chris [goaltending coach Terreri] a little bit about the histories of the goaltenders with the teams,” DeBoer said. “I’m not a huge believer in that stat, but it’s definitely some information that gets filed and goes into the decision. It’s definitely not the sole reason.”

Deboer will be looking for a better performance following his club's opening-night setback at the Rock. He's using the same lineup as Saturday.

“I’m hoping quite a bit [of an improvement],” he said. “Again, I give the Flyers full marks. They came in here, played a heck of a hockey game at a lot faster pace than we were used to. Hopefully that’ll be all fixed tonight. It’s a work in progress, we just have to get better every day."

Could all the excitement of playing that first game in front of a pumped-up sellout crowd have been a factor?

“You watch some of the games around the League: Winnipeg last night, Calgary’s opener – the home team seems to get off their game plan, play a little tight,” DeBoer said. “I’m hoping that was the reason we didn’t stick to what we want to do and that can be rectified today.”

Brodeur played well in the defeat, and had to make two of his 26 saves on shorthanded breakaways. The Devils’ power play went 0-for-5, managing just two shots.

“I liked our structure on our power play,” said DeBoer. “I liked how it looked early in the game when the ice was good and we did a lot of good things. Late in the game, some nerves, some guys trying to force the issue a little bit, the puck bouncing a little bit. I think that all played a part. Obviously, we don’t want to give up two breakaways a night to the shorthanded team, so that’s something we’ve got to fix."