NEWS

Fraser ready when needed

Tuesday, 12.28.2010 / 4:22 PM ET / 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.” 

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 75 16 27 -6 43
M. Cammalleri 68 27 15 2 42
P. Elias 69 13 21 -20 34
S. Gomez 58 7 27 -10 34
S. Bernier 67 16 16 2 32
T. Zajac 74 11 14 -3 25
A. Larsson 64 3 21 2 24
A. Greene 82 3 19 1 22
E. Gelinas 61 6 13 -2 19
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 31 9 .925 2.26
K. Kinkaid 6 5 4 .915 2.59