The Devils lost for the fifth time in seven games last night, but that wasn’t the worst news. Martin Brodeur removed himself from warmups and the starting lineup just minutes before the eventual 4-2 loss to the Jets at Prudential Center in Newark, with what was later revealed as back stiffness. “My back was a little sore the last few games,” Brodeur said. “I guess sitting on the bench the whole game [Saturday] didn’t really help and [last night] I thought I was going to be fine. Warmup didn’t feel good enough, so I decided to pull myself out.” Johan Hedberg didn’t have much time to shake off allowing five goals in Saturday’s 5-1 loss to the Capitals, as he was thrust into the nets right after warmups. He allowed four goals on 27 shots. “It’s better to play than to watch. It’s my job to be ready,” Hedberg said. “The game was up for grabs pretty much the whole way. Hopefully we can turn this around quick on Thursday [at Winnipeg].” It marked the first time this season the Devils went two games without a point. After flying to an 8-1-3 start and vaulting to the top of the Eastern Conference, the Devils are 2-4-1 in their past seven. “These situations are happening to just about everybody except the Chicago Blackhawks, and I am sure they will get theirs eventually,” Devils coach Pete DeBoer said. Zach Bogosian gave the Jets an early first-period lead, but the Devils responded with two goals in the period by Travis Zajac and Steve Bernier. The Devils’ penalty kill continued to struggle, allowing a power-play goal by Grant Clitsome, which tied the game 2-2 in the second period — the eighth time in nine games the Devils have allowed a power-play goal. The Jets went back in front 3-2 lead later in the period when Evander Kane used his speed to race through Adam Larsson and Andy Greene to beat Hedberg, who went for the poke check but missed. Andrew Ladd extended the Jets’ advantage to 4-2 at 7:46 of the third period, but the Devils had several opportunities to get back into the game. The best chance was an apparent goal by Marek Zidlicky with just over six minutes left which was disallowed after the referee had blown the whistle, thinking Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec had covered the puck, although he clearly hadn’t. The play was reviewed but the no-goal call stood. On the play, Jets defender Ron Hainsey covered the puck with his hand in the crease and then threw it out in an attempt to clear it, which should have been a penalty shot or a penalty.
Hedberg fails to save Devs
New York Post | Feb 25