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Game Preview: Jets @ Devils

The Winnipeg Jets look for three straight wins as they wrap up their road trip in New Jersey Sunday night.

Sunday, 10.03.2013 / 2:20 PM / News Articles
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Game Preview: Jets @ Devils
The Winnipeg Jets look for three straight wins as they wrap up their road trip in New Jersey Sunday night.

Whether or not the New Jersey Devils' recent struggles are a direct result of veteran goaltender Martin Brodeur's absence, coach Peter DeBoer is becoming concerned.

Resolving the issues against the Winnipeg Jets may help get his team back on the right track.

New Jersey looks to prevent an eighth defeat in its last nine games Sunday night by avoiding a third loss in the last two weeks to visiting Winnipeg.

The 40-year-old Brodeur, who backstopped the Devils to an appearance in last season's Stanley Cup finals, hasn't played since Feb. 21 while nursing a sore back.

New Jersey (11-9-5) went 0-6-1 in its first seven games without Brodeur before beating Buffalo 3-2 in a shootout Thursday, but it faltered again Saturday in a 6-3 loss at Carolina.

DeBoer isn't sugarcoating his team's recent problems.

"We've got to get wins. I'm not going to kid you and tell you I'm not worried," he said.

Ilya Kovalchuk scored twice, including the team's league-leading seventh short-handed goal, but the Devils went an 11th straight game without scoring more than three goals.

"It concerns me that we're not scoring," said DeBoer, whose team started 8-1-3. "You look at the shots and the chances and there's not a huge discrepancy from three weeks ago when we were winning games. It's finding that fine line that we seemed to have lost."

With Brodeur out - and there's no update on when he'll be able to return - Johan Hedberg has gone 1-6-1 while allowing at least three goals six times. He's been pulled twice, including Saturday after giving up five goals on 18 shots.

Rookie Jeff Frazee made three saves in his first NHL appearance over the final 20 minutes, and there's a chance he gets his first career start Sunday as the Devils conclude a back-to-back.

"You've got to forget it and move on," Hedberg said.

No mater who is in net, New Jersey needs an improved performance from its previous two meetings with Winnipeg. Evander Kane and Andrew Ladd scored in the Jets' 4-2 road win Feb. 24, then Ladd had two goals and an assist in a 3-1 victory at home Feb. 28.

Winnipeg (12-11-1) has won seven of 10 as Dustin Byfuglien scored in overtime for a 3-2 victory over Florida on Friday. Ladd scored his team-high 13th goal and added his 11th assist for the Jets, who conclude a four-game road trip Sunday.

"It doesn't matter how you win, you can always build off it," Byfuglien said. "You can look at the things you did wrong and build off that, too. What's most important is that we got our two points."

The Jets' last seven opponents are 0 for 21 on the power play, with New Jersey going 0 for 5 over the two meetings. Coach Claude Noel credits his goaltenders for that success.

"The penalty killing has been our bread and butter," Noel said. "You look at (Thursday's 2-1 win over Tampa Bay) with (Al) Montoya and you look (Friday) with (Ondrej) Pavelec, what can you say? If you get that kind of goaltending, it affords you to make some mistakes. Our penalty killing has come up big, but our goaltender has been huge as well."

Pavelec, who is 3-1-0 with a 1.76 goals-against average in his last four starts versus the Devils, likely will be in net Sunday.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 NSH 62 41 14 7 188 147 89
2 ANA 63 39 17 7 186 176 85
3 STL 61 39 18 4 190 152 82
4 CHI 63 37 21 5 183 150 79
5 WPG 63 31 20 12 174 170 74
6 VAN 61 35 23 3 174 162 73
7 MIN 61 32 22 7 173 160 71
8 LAK 61 29 20 12 164 157 70
9 CGY 62 33 25 4 175 160 70
10 SJS 62 30 24 8 173 177 68
11 COL 62 27 24 11 166 179 65
12 DAL 62 27 25 10 195 207 64
13 ARI 62 20 35 7 137 210 47
14 EDM 62 18 34 10 142 206 46

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
B. Little 63 24 26 9 50
A. Ladd 63 20 30 12 50
B. Wheeler 61 16 28 12 44
D. Byfuglien 63 15 26 6 41
M. Perreault 56 18 18 3 36
M. Scheifele 63 10 25 4 35
M. Frolik 63 13 19 3 32
D. Stafford 57 10 17 -18 27
J. Tlusty 53 13 10 -17 23
E. Kane 37 10 12 -1 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
M. Hutchinson 18 7 5 .920 2.29
O. Pavelec 13 13 7 .909 2.60
 
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