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Brodeur skates but Hedberg will start for Devils

by Dan Rosen

NEWARK, N.J. -- Martin Brodeur (back) skated on his own for the second straight day, but New Jersey Devils coach Peter DeBoer said it's still too soon to determine when the injured goaltender will resume working out with the team. So Johan Hedberg will make his 10th consecutive start Wednesday night.

The Devils host the Philadelphia Flyers at Prudential Center in NBCSN's Wednesday Night Rivalry game (7:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN2).

Hedberg hasn't started 10 games in a row since the 2001-02 season, when he started 10 straight for the Pittsburgh Penguins from Jan. 5-23.

"I feel good," Hedberg told "People always ask me before the year how many starts do you expect, and I say I don't expect anything. Anything that you do expect usually gets changed anyway. During the season, so many things happen so you have to be ready for whatever happens."

Hedberg will try to build on his performance from Sunday, when he made 23 saves in a 3-2 shootout win against the Winnipeg Jets. In his previous appearance, he was pulled after two periods at the Carolina Hurricanes, where he allowed five goals on 18 shots.

"As a goaltender it's a mental game," Hedberg said. "There were a few rough games and you try to fight your way back. I was in the right position [against the Jets]. I was feeling the puck the way I wanted to and reading the situations better. That's something I will try to carry with me."

If Hedberg can carry on, the Devils will have a better chance of taking one step closer to perhaps burying the Flyers, who are four points behind them in the Eastern Conference standings in 11th place. The Devils are seventh with 29 points and hold a game in hand over Philadelphia.

The teams also play Friday in Philadelphia. Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov went on record Tuesday saying his team would be "done" if it lost both games of this home-and-home.

"We need points too," Devils defenseman Andy Greene told "We're not anywhere near the top right now, so these are huge points. It's important for us to try to pull away from some teams. We have teams that are right above us and a couple that are right below us. It's good to try to create some separation and obviously this is a great time with the home-and-home against Philly."

Here's what the Devils lineup likely will look like Wednesday night:

Alexei Ponikarovsky - Andrei Loktionov - Ilya Kovalchuk

Patrik Elias - Adam Henrique - Steve Bernier

Ryan Carter - Travis Zajac - David Clarkson

Krys Barch - Stephen Gionta - Tom Kostopoulos

Bryce Salvador - Marek Zidlicky

Andy Greene - Adam Larsson

Anton Volchenkov - Peter Harrold

Johan Hedberg

Jeff Frazee

Scratched: Stefan Matteau, Mark Fayne, Harri Pesonen

Injured: Martin Brodeur (back), Henrik Tallinder (lower body), Dainius Zubrus (left wrist)


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