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DeBoer: Brodeur could back up Hedberg on Tuesday

Monday, 03.18.2013 / 2:53 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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DeBoer: Brodeur could back up Hedberg on Tuesday

 
Devils coach Peter DeBoer is happy to have Martin Brodeur practicing with the team again, but he's taking a patient approach to getting him back in the lineup.

Johan Hedberg will start Tuesday's game against the Rangers. Brodeur, who returned to practice on Monday after missing the last 11 games, could back up.

"If he's healthy enough to go in if we needed him, yes," DeBoer said. "But I'm not going to rush or force him into that; that's not necessary."

The Devils (13-10-6) have dropped two in a row (0-1-1) since winning three of four. The Rangers sat in 10th place heading into Monday's home meeting with Carolina.

"They're all big," DeBoer said of the upcoming matchup between Hudson River rivals. "We talked this morning: for me there's two teams at the top of each conference, one or two at the bottom, then there's everybody else. It's going to be who can separate themselves from the pack over the last 19 games. Our mindset is Rangers or whoever we're playing, we have to start picking up points on a nightly basis."

Past the halfway mark of the shortened season, both of last year's Eastern Conference finalists are looking to strengthen their positions within the top eight.

"You're going to get desperate teams every single night now," DeBoer said. "There's no easy nights. This is the playoff push. It's going to be a full sprint to the finish here for 19 games. We have to be ready to go."

• DeBoer said sending Stefan Matteau back to his junior team in Blainville-Boisbriand (QMJHL) was the right decision for the Devils' 2012 first-round pick.

"He got great experience, learned a lot," DeBoer said. "He's got a big upside and a bright future. I think the League this time of year goes to another level. It's tough for young guys their first time around to find that. I think it was the right move."

Matteau posted a goal and two assists in 17 games and is eligible to return after the QMJHL playoffs.

• Andrei Loktionov skated on his own Monday, but remains day-to-day.

• Henrik Tallinder and Dainius Zubrus are "inching closer to a return, Tally closer than Zubrus," DeBoer said.

• Monday's forward lines:

Ponikarovsky - Henrique - Kovalchuk

Pesonen - Elias - Clarkson

Carter - Zajac - Bernier

Barch - Gionta - Kostopoulos

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Palmieri 82 30 27 3 57
A. Henrique 80 30 20 10 50
T. Zajac 74 14 28 3 42
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
D. Severson 72 1 20 -8 21
R. Boucher 39 8 11 -13 19
D. Schlemko 67 6 13 -22 19
J. Moore 73 4 15 -12 19
A. Larsson 82 3 15 15 18
J. Blandisi 41 5 12 -14 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 27 25 6 .924 2.15
K. Kinkaid 9 9 1 .904 2.81
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