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Devils hope to stop rare losing streak

by Patrick Williams

WINNIPEG -- The New Jersey Devils begin a three-game road trip against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday hoping to stop a rare multigame losing streak.

Losses to the Jets on Feb. 24 and to the Washington Capitals the day before marked the first consecutive regulation losses for the Devils (10-5-4) since March 17-19, 2012.

New Jersey will start goaltender Johan Hedberg for the third consecutive game after placing Martin Brodeur on injured reserve this week. The Devils recalled Keith Kinkaid from the American Hockey League to back up Hedberg, and recalled center Tim Sestito.

The Devils arrived here early and held a practice Wednesday afternoon. Coach Peter DeBoer will scratch defenseman Anton Volchenkov for the first time this season and replace the veteran with Henrik Tallinder against the Jets.

Winnipeg native Travis Zajac will make his first NHL appearance in his home city after missing both of the Devils’ games at MTS Centre last season. Alexei Ponikarovsky also will return to Winnipeg for his first game since the Devils acquired him from the Jets on Feb. 13. Ponikarovsky played 12 games with the Jets this season.

Here is how the Devils' lineup likely will look:

Adam Henrique - Andrei Loktionov - Ilya Kovalchuk

Patrik Elias - Travis Zajac - David Clarkson

Alexei Ponikarovsky - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier

Stefan Matteau - Tim Sestito - Bobby Butler

Bryce Salvador - Marek Zidlicky

Andy Greene - Adam Larsson

Henrik Tallinder - Mark Fayne

Johan Hedberg

Keith Kinkaid

Scratched: Krystofer Barch, Peter Harrold, Anton Volchenkov

Injured: Martin Brodeur (back), Ryan Carter (concussion), Dainius Zubrus (wrist)

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