Hedberg made his fourth straight start Saturday and the Devils beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in a shootout.
With Brodeur sidelined by a bruised elbow, Hedberg made 40 saves through overtime, and then stopped three of four Flyers in the shootout.
“I think it’s a team thing for me,” Hedberg said. “We started something good a few games ago. It’s put the goaltender in a different position. We’re way more sound. That’s the way we’ve got to play.”
With Hedberg holding off the top offensive team in the NHL, the Devils pulled out their third win in the last four games. After a 5-13-2 start, New Jersey is trying to get back into the playoff chase.
“It was a good week for us,” Devils coach John MacLean said. “We need to look that we got six of eight points. Going into next week, if we keep doing that, we’ll be in good shape.”
“That’s the way we’re going to have to play the rest of the year,” Zajac said. “Points are important, especially since we’ve fallen behind. Hedberg is the reason why we’ve been in these games. He kept us in the game and gave us some momentum.”
“He played well,” Boucher said. “He kept his team in there. He played solid. After that first period, we seemed to pick up our play and get more shots but you’ve got give Hedberg credit.”
Mair pickec the upper left corner from the right circle at 11:49 of the opening period, his first goal of the season.
Mair’s goal was a relief for the Devils, who squandered an excellent opportunity when the Flyers’ Scott Hartnell(notes) got a double-minor for high-sticking Brian Rolston(notes) 1:52 into the game. New Jersey couldn’t cash in on the four-minute advantage. Ilya Kovalchuk(notes) had the best chance on a slapper from the left circle that Boucher blocked.
Hedberg stopped 12 shots in the second period as the Devils clung to the 1-0 lead.
The Flyers pressed hard for the equalizer early in the third and came close several times. Hedberg stopped Carter again, diving out to block a shot and he also had some luck as Leino hit the post on a shot from the slot. The relentless pressure finally paid off as Briere banked a close-in shot off Hedberg for a power-play goal at 8:38.
“We progressed and got better as the game went on,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. “We fought for a point in the third period. Hedberg was pretty good, but our guy was too.”
Kovalchuk blew the best chance of the overtime, flubbing a perfect feed in the slot from Zajac.
Notes: The game concluded a busy stretch for the Flyers, who played 10 times in 17 days. … It was the first meeting between the teams since the Flyers beat the Devils in five games in last season’s opening-round playoff series. … Mair signed with the Devils as a free agent on Oct. 12. The goal was his 38th in 571 games.