One of the most upbeat players in the Devils’ dressing room is dejected.

Johan Hedberg, who has started five straight games in place of ailing No. 1 goalie Martin Brodeur, doesn’t have a win over that span. And now, after a 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night at Air Canada Centre, Hedberg is blaming himself for what ails the team.

"We played well enough to win. We need some saves," said Hedberg, who was the only player in an empty postgame dressing room when the door opened. "I have to take that upon me. I have to play better for us to get out of this.

"I know that I have to be better. When we need a save I have to be there, especially when it’s hard for us to get a win."

It is certainly difficult for the Devils to get a victory. They are winless in five straight (0-4-1) and are 1-5-2 in their last eight games.

But Hedberg may be a bit tough on himself when he takes the blame.

"I don’t agree with that. ‘Moose’ has been unbelievable for us all year," right winger David Clarkson said. "He’s the heart and soul of this team. He’s one of those guys that everybody loves him and respects him a ton. I think he’s made some big saves. We have to find the way to find the back of the net."

The Devils’ two goals came from defenseman Marek Zidlicky, the sixth two-goal game of his NHL career. With the power play scoreless on all four chances, the Devils have failed to score on 19 straight power plays.

"We need to win some games. We need to score on the power play and win some games. It doesn’t matter how," Zidlicky said.