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NEWS

Fraser ready when needed

Tuesday, 12.28.2010 / 4:22 PM / News
By Eric Marin
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Fraser ready when needed
Fraser injured his hand before this scrap with McCormick on Oct. 13.
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After a couple of solid practices, Mark Fraser’s ready to return to the lineup.

The Devils defenseman has missed the last 31 games with a broken hand.

“The last two days have been really good practice,” Fraser said Tuesday. “It’s exactly what I needed to get back. It was really the physicality challenge that I needed. I definitely got that in the last two days, and today I was bumping guys and I got bumped a couple times, and I feel that’s my final test.

“Whenever the team needs me, or whenever they want to call upon me, I feel confident that I’m now game-ready.”

The Devils are back in action Wednesday, when they host the Rangers.

Fraser couldn’t pinpoint how the break happened, but it didn’t occur during his fight with Cody McCormick at Buffalo. As it turns out, his right hand had been bothering him before that Oct. 13 meeting with the Sabres.

“That started actually in training camp,” Fraser said. “I blocked a shot in a (Sept. 28 preseason) game (against) Philly. It had been blown up for two weeks prior to the fight.”

The injury lingered following the Flyers game.

“I didn’t play for a week after that,” Fraser continued. “I played the last game at the Island. That entire week of practice, I was battling to grip the stick.”

Fraser said a first-period charge by Patrick Kaleta in that Buffalo game did more to aggravate the hand than the fight, which came later in the period.

“I just knew going into the game, if I’m going to fight, protect the outside of my hand,” he said. “You only punch with the outside of your hand anyway. I had just known ahead of time fights happen in my game, just to be careful if they do.”

Jacques Lemaire and the Devils are looking to snap a five-game losing streak. They have faced the Rangers twice, dropping decisions of 3-1 at the Garden on Oct. 24 and 3-0 at Prudential Center on Nov. 5.

The past history of the Battle of the Hudson is no concern of Lemaire’s heading into Wednesday’s meeting at the Rock.

“We’ve got to start to play good, nevermind the rivalry,” he said. “There’s no rivalry right now. Two different teams. We’ve got to start to play good, start to compete, go from there.”

Lemaire, who took over for John MacLean on Dec. 23, was pleased with his first two days of full practices.

“Yeah,” he said. “I wish I had five.” 

SCHEDULE

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AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 62 41 16 5 171 135 87
2 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
3 NYR 61 38 17 6 192 152 82
4 TBL 63 38 19 6 207 167 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
7 WSH 63 33 20 10 184 159 76
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 62 27 22 13 150 175 67
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 61 26 31 4 157 191 56
14 CAR 61 24 30 7 142 162 55
15 TOR 62 25 32 5 170 189 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
M. Cammalleri 51 23 10 4 33
A. Henrique 56 12 20 -1 32
P. Elias 53 10 16 -13 26
S. Gomez 39 5 18 -9 23
M. Zidlicky 63 4 19 -7 23
T. Zajac 55 10 10 -4 20
S. Bernier 48 10 8 1 18
M. Ryder 44 6 12 -2 18
A. Larsson 45 2 16 3 18
M. Havlat 38 5 9 -12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 23 23 6 .927 2.19
K. Kinkaid 3 4 3 .915 2.59