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Brodeur out for Rangers game

Hedberg to make second straight appearance

Friday, 11.5.2010 / 11:34 AM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Brodeur out for Rangers game
Brodeur injured his right elbow Wednesday and will not play vs. Rangers.
Martin Brodeur took part in today's morning skate expecting to make his ninth straight start against the Rangers later tonight.

But after testing his bruised right elbow, Brodeur said he's not 100 percent and will not face the Devils' Hudson River rivals.

Instead, backup Johan Hedberg will make his second start, and fourth appearance of the season.

"I'm fine, just not ready to play today," Brodeur said. "I thought I was going to be OK, but there's still a little pain in the elbow. If I'm not 100 percent, there's no sense in me going out there in a big game like that."

Brodeur was injured in the second period of Wednesday's win at Chicago, when he was hit by a shot from Patrick Kane. He left at 5:48 of the frame, with the Devils leading 2-0. X-rays were negative and Brodeur thought he would be able to take on the Rangers.

"When I went on the ice, I thought I was going to be OK," he said. "There's just a couple of little things I have to do with my stick. If it had been on the glove side, I think I would've been OK. Just because I have to hold my stick, it's a little too painful for me."

Two years ago, Brodeur hurt his left elbow – his catching glove side – and was forced to miss 50 games. This time, it's his stick side.

"I've got plenty of strength in my hand, my fingers, everything's fine, the wrist is fine," he said. "It's just extending my arm with having a weight at the end, it's just too much of a sharp pain for me on the elbow."

Even shooting the puck didn't present a challenge this morning. Brodeur planned to visit with Devils doctors today.

"I just wanted to (stick)handle on the rebounds and felt it really like a sharp pain," he said. "From there I said it's not worth it."

To backup Hedberg, the Devils (4-9-1) recalled goaltender Jeff Frazee from Albany (AHL) under emergency conditions. Defenseman Alexander Urbom was also recalled under emergency conditions and will play for Colin White, who's sidelined by the flu.

After tonight's contest, the Devils won't play again until Wednesday. By then, Brodeur hopes to be available to take on the Sabres.

"If that sharp pain doesn't go away, there's no way for me to play," he said. "I believe it's going to go away. It got better from the first time I got hit to today. It's not something that I'm going to hurt worse; it's not a pull or anything, it's just a bruise. Whenever I'm able to deal with the pain, I'll be back. Hopefully, the four days of rest will help." 

Hedberg was solid after relieving Brodeur in Chicago, and finished with 21 saves. Now he gets an opportunity to lead the Devils to their first home win of the season (0-4-1).

"I think it's extremely important for us to get back on track here," said Hedberg. "Obviously we've been trying to find our game."

Hedberg found out he was starting during the morning skate, but his mental preparation keeps him ready to go even on short notice.

"I always try to keep myself in the mindset that I am playing," he said. "I never know when I'm going to get called upon. Just in case these situations happen, I want to feel like I'm prepared enough to play."

"Moose" is 1-1-0 with a .813 save percentage this season. He's 11-4-2 in his career against the Rangers, including a 2.12 goals-against average and one shutout.

He's well-aware of the Devils-Rangers rivalry and wants a win tonight.

"There's a lot of fans involved, and fans are up for it, so it means a lot," he said. "For us, I think we need to look at what we need. We need to get winning, regardless who's on the other side. We can't change anything. We have to keep things solid and get better."