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Devs go with Brodeur vs. 'Canes

by Mike G. Morreale
NEWARK, N.J. -- After losing their third home game in as many outings this season at Prudential Center on Friday to the Atlanta Thrashers, New Jersey Devils coach Jacques Lemaire will go right back to goalie Martin Brodeur on Saturday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

There was speculation Friday morning that Lemaire would opt for backup Yann Danis against the 'Canes in order to give Brodeur a breather in the second of consecutive games this weekend. Brodeur yielded 4 goals -- three in the third period -- on 19 shots in a 4-2 loss to the Thrashers on Friday.

Brodeur (3-3-0, 3.11 GAA, .888 save percentage) has started all six games for the Devils this season and owns a 32-13-6 all-time record against the Hurricanes with a 2.05 goals-against average in 51 games. The Devils were eliminated from the opening round of 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs by Carolina in a thrilling seven-game series last April. In Game 7 at Prudential Center, Brodeur allowed two goals in the final 80 seconds of the third period in a 4-3 loss.

So does Lemaire's decision to start Brodeur on Saturday already signal an importance to winning the seventh game of the season?  

"No," Lemaire said. "(Brodeur) is in tonight because we feel he's our best goalie and we'll have a better chance to win with him in there -- that's why he's in."

The Devils' coach admitted his team's effort against the Thrashers was their worst performance of the season.

"It's all about controlling the puck and battling for pucks and we can't say we battled (against Atlanta)," Lemaire told the media following Saturday's optional morning skate. "To me, it was our worst game."

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