NEWS

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 x - NYR 73 47 19 7 224 168 101
2 MTL 75 46 21 8 197 167 100
3 TBL 75 46 22 7 244 194 99
4 NYI 75 44 26 5 228 208 93
5 PIT 74 40 23 11 204 186 91
6 DET 73 39 22 12 212 201 90
7 WSH 74 40 24 10 215 182 90
8 OTT 73 37 25 11 213 195 85
9 BOS 74 36 25 13 195 193 85
10 FLA 74 34 26 14 184 202 82
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 NJD 74 31 31 12 166 189 74
13 CBJ 73 34 35 4 198 228 72
14 CAR 73 27 36 10 170 201 64
15 TOR 75 27 42 6 194 241 60
16 BUF 74 20 46 8 141 249 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 67 16 24 -2 40
M. Cammalleri 60 25 12 5 37
S. Gomez 50 7 24 -7 31
P. Elias 61 10 20 -16 30
S. Bernier 59 13 14 3 27
T. Zajac 66 11 12 -2 23
A. Larsson 56 3 19 3 22
A. Greene 74 3 17 5 20
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
E. Gelinas 54 6 11 -2 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 27 8 .928 2.19
K. Kinkaid 5 4 3 .919 2.42