NEWARK, N.J. – Sunday night began with bad news, and that was only the beginning.
Less than an hour before game time, scheduled starting goalie Martin Brodeur was lifted from that role, as the New Jersey Devils said he had “a little soreness” that held him out of the starting lineup.
Some two-and-a-half hours later, the Devils (10-5-4) skated off the ice at the hands of a 4-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets (8-9-1) at Prudential Center. The loss is the second in as many days for the Devils, who lost 5-1 to the Washington Capitals yesterday.
Brodeur took part in pregame warm-ups, but left early and was taken out of the starting lineup minutes before the game started. The Devils said he will be re-evaluated tomorrow.
With Johan Hedberg making his second consecutive start — and his first of the season at Prudential Center — the Devils got off to a good start. Despite the Jets scoring first, when Zach Bogosian slipped a shot past Hedberg, the Devils answered for two straight goals from Travis Zajac and Steve Bernier to take a 2-1 lead.
Winnipeg came firing back in the second period, though. Grant Clitsome scored a power play goal to tie the game at two. Later in the second period, Evander Kane scored after a turnover from Devils defensemen Adam Larsson. Kane split the two Devils defensemen and made a move around Hedberg’s poke check to give the Jets a 3-2 lead.
Winnipeg added to that lead in the third period, when Andrew Ladd found a loose puck in the offensive zone and ripped a wrist shot over Hedberg’s glove to give the Jets the 4-2 lead that would be the final score.
On a lighter note, Devils’ forward Andrei Loktionov moved his point streak to three games after registering an assist on Bernier’s first-period goal.
Prior to the game, the Devils recalled Jacob Josefson from Albany after Ryan Carter was place on injured reserve earlier today. Josefson played in place of rookie Stefan Matteau, who is “a little banged up,” according to coach Pete DeBoer.
The Devils won’t play again until Thursday, when they visit the Jets on the road.