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Brodeur starts, Larsson returns vs. Sabres

Tuesday, 12.27.2011 / 4:39 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Brodeur starts, Larsson returns vs. Sabres



 
Martin Brodeur will be back in net Wednesday when the Devils host Buffalo at the Rock.

The Devils (19-14-1) have won five of their last seven, while Buffalo (17-15-3) snapped a three-game skid with 4-2 victory over Washington on Monday.

New Jersey hopes to rebound from Monday's 4-2 loss to the Hurricanes. David Clarkson and Adam Henrique scored in the Devils' first game back from the two-day holiday break.

Johan Hedberg made 30 saves in his first work since Dec. 16.

Adam Larsson is expected to be back in the lineup after missing two games to fly home to Sweden for his grandmother's funeral.

"He looks good," coach Peter DeBoer said Tuesday. "He looks refreshed. I think he appreciated the trip home. We're glad to have him back."

Larsson's return trip took nearly 12 hours, but it was well worth the time spent with family during a difficult time.

"If I had missed that funeral, it would be pretty sad and tough for me to just see a picture from it," he said. "I think it was good, it was worth all the long flights I made to be there."

The holidays weren't the same, but the young Swede still did his best to enjoy them.

"It feels pretty strange because I spent all my Christmases with her, but still it was good to get my mind on other stuff after the funeral," he said.

Larsson leads all rookie defensemen with 13 points (2g, 11a).

Travis Zajac saw time with Zach Parise and Ilya Kovalchuk in Carolina, but was back on a line with Mattias Tedenby and David Clarkson for Tuesday's practice.

Zajac has a goal and an assist in five games since coming back from offseason surgery.

"I don't think it's any secret he's still working to find his game," DeBoer said. "I think anybody that's seen him play at a hundred percent, I think that that's obvious. But that's what we expected, too. He's five games back after missing 30. If you look at how long it took Zach to hit stride with what he missed, it's going to be a process."

Henrik Tallinder (back spasms) has missed five games, but skated on his own Tuesday and could be close to a return.

"He got through it, felt pretty good, so he'll skate with us tomorrow morning and we'll see how he is," DeBoer said.

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