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At halfway mark, Devils seek second wind

Friday, 03.8.2013 / 3:38 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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At halfway mark, Devils seek second wind


 
With their losing streak behind them, the Devils are looking to get a little momentum going.

Head coach Peter DeBoer is preparing his club for a backstretch that begins with this weekend's back-to-back at Carolina on Saturday and at home versus Winnipeg on Sunday.

"I think [the pressure's] going to be on for the next 24 games here," DeBoer said Friday. "Obviously, we cannot afford to go through anything like [the losing streak] again. This is going to be a full sprint the last 24 games to the finish line."

Thursday's 3-2 shootout win over Buffalo ended an 0-5-1 slide and secured an 11-8-5 record at the halfway mark. The Devils erased a 2-0 deficit on third-period goals by Adam Henrique and Patrik Elias before capturing their first shootout victory of the season.

"We needed that win, mentally," DeBoer said. "Obviously, you hope that translates into a winning streak, but at the end of the day, the bottom line is you're going to have to win two out of every three games down the stretch in order to make sure you get a playoff spot. That's what we're looking for."

Johan Hedberg made 23 saves, then stopped shootout attempts by Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville to pick up his first win in his last seven starts.

"Personally, I think it was very important," Hedberg said. "It was good to see some smiling faces again and to go home and not have to think about it too much in negative terms. I'm sure that we're going to try to build off that win. Confidence is a funny thing in sports: one day you have it, then a couple of days later, it's gone. I'm sure that we all feel better about ourselves now. We feel that we can win."

The Devils disrupted two other negative trends: they won for just the third time this season when allowing the first goal (3-7-3) and for only the second time when trailing after two periods (2-5-1).

But for a squad looking to solidify its positioning within the top eight in the conference, there's still work to be done. 

"We want to win two out of three – we want to win three out of three," Hedberg said. "But I always take it one game at a time anyway. Every time you step on the ice, it's a game to be won. Whenever that game's over with, you move on to the next."

Saturday brings a meeting with the Hurricanes, the team that snapped the Devils' season-high five-game winning streak back on Feb. 12.

Hedberg's recipe for success calls for more of the same.

"We keep doing what we've been doing – hopefully spice that up with the confidence from winning a game and knowing that we can put the puck in the net – and come away with a couple of points," he said. "I think we've been doing a lot of good things over this losing stretch, too, it's just that pucks haven't been going our way. Consistency is the biggest thing you can have as a team."

• Henrik Tallinder (lower body) will not travel with the team to Carolina. He was a late scratch Thursday after getting hurt in warm-ups. 

• Friday's practice was limited to Krys Barch and Adam Larsson, who were healthy scratches on Thursday, backup Jeff Frazee and Stefan Matteau.


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 54 40 10 4 178 124 84
2 FLA 56 32 18 6 153 132 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 BOS 55 30 19 6 163 150 66
5 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
6 NJD 57 29 21 7 125 124 65
7 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
8 NYI 54 29 19 6 153 137 64
9 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
10 CAR 56 25 21 10 137 146 60
11 PHI 54 24 20 10 128 140 58
12 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
13 OTT 57 25 26 6 159 177 56
14 BUF 57 23 28 6 135 156 52
15 CBJ 57 23 28 6 144 175 52
16 TOR 54 20 25 9 127 151 49

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
L. Stempniak 57 15 25 6 40
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
A. Henrique 55 19 18 14 37
K. Palmieri 57 20 16 3 36
T. Zajac 49 8 20 7 28
D. Schlemko 49 7 9 -8 16
A. Larsson 57 2 11 12 13
D. Severson 53 1 12 -1 13
J. Blandisi 18 4 7 -1 11
J. Josefson 46 3 8 -14 11
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 25 16 6 .931 1.98
K. Kinkaid 4 5 1 .918 2.28
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