Jets lose to Devils
NEWARK, N.J.—Johan Hedberg didn’t have time to get down on himself after being lifted for the second time this past week.
With Martin Brodeur still sidelined with a sore back and the New Jersey Devils in the midst of a slide, Hedberg needed to rebound.
Hedberg made 23 saves, then stopped all three Winnipeg attempt in the shootout, to lead the Devils to a 3-2 victory—only their second win in nine games without Brodeur.
“When we got to the shootout, I knew that we were in good position to win the game,” said Hedberg, who was lifted after two periods in the Devils’ 6-3 loss at Carolina on Saturday night.
“I had to bounce back,” he stressed. “There’s no time for getting down and feeling sorry for yourself. I had to get back out there.
“I really needed this, and maybe now I can put a few good games together,” Hedberg added.
Hedberg, also lifted in a loss to Tampa Bay on Tuesday, was solid in the shootout. The 39-year-old made a snow-angel save on Blake Wheeler, a glove stop on Evander Kane, and a pad save on Andrew Ladd on the final try.
“He deserves this because he’s the hardest worker we have every day,” said Devils’ forward Ilya Kovalchuk.
The win was only the Devils’ fourth in 14 games (4-8-2) and it kept them a point ahead of the eighth-place Rangers in the Eastern Conference (New York has two games in hand).
Winnipeg, meanwhile, is two points behind the Rangers and three behind New Jersey in the race for the final two playoff berths.
Patrik Elias scored the only goal of the shootout to give the Devils a much-needed two points and to keep Winnipeg, which has played one fewer game than New Jersey, from getting closer.
Ryan Carter and Stephen Gionta scored in regulation time for the Devils while Elias netted the winner with a backhander on the Devils’ last attempt.
It barely got under goalie Ondrej Pavelec, who made 25 saves before the tie-breaker.
“We didn’t have a lot of great players, that’s for sure, a lot of good players,” said Jets’ coach Claude Noel.
“I thought we struggled in a lot of areas.”
Elsewhere in the NHL, Edmonton topped Chicago 6-5, Montreal beat Florida 5-2, Minnesota doubled Vancouver 4-2, the N.Y. Rangers downed Washington 4-1, Columbus nipped Detroit 3-2 (SO), and Pittsburgh dumped the N.Y. Islanders 6-1.
Philadelphia edged Buffalo 3-2, Colorado shaded San Jose 3-2 (OT), and Anaheim beat St. Louis 4-2.