NEWARK, N.J. -- Devils goalie Martin Brodeur will continue his search for consistency Friday night against the Capitals as he's expected to make his third consecutive start.
Brodeur said Friday morning that he's still trying to find a rhythm this season and it's been more difficult than he expected because he's not playing both games in back-to-back situations and he also sat out six games in October with an injury.
The Devils have played six sets of back-to-backs and 24 games in total since Brodeur returned from his early-season injury. He's started 17 times and is 8-8 with a 3.09 goals-against average.
"I thought it would be easy to take the break and be more rested and that would be a better thing, but it's been tricky," said Brodeur, who will also be looking to snap his personal five-game losing streak to the Capitals. "Practice is more important for me now, where before it was games, games, games. Now practice becomes games for me."
Brodeur also said practice has become harder for him this season because he doesn't have to conserve as much energy as he had to in years past.
"It's that balance I need to have between games and practices that I'm not used to," he said. "That's what I'm going through right now, but slowly I'll get to the same level as far as playing games."
He should as long as he stays healthy.
The Devils will have 48 games remaining after the holiday break, but only seven more sets of back-to-backs. Brodeur could conceivably get somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 more starts, which would put him either at or close to 60 games played. That's right around the number the Devils were looking for from their future Hall of Fame goalie this season considering he is only five and half months shy of his 40th birthday.
"Marty's reputation prior to me coming here was this guy is one of the hardest-working guys in practice, and I've seen exactly that," Devils coach Pete DeBoer said. "I've seen a guy who comes to work everyday, cares about his game, is willing to put in in extra work when things aren't going right. It turns around for guys like that. It may not turn around today or the next day, but if you consistency do that you reap the rewards of that and he has entire career. I don't expect that to change.
"We need him healthy and fresh the second half. That's critical."
Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl