Martin Brodeur likely out next 2 games

Updated: February 9, 2011, 7:07 PM ET
By Mike Mazzeo | Special to ESPNNewYork.com

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur will not accompany the team to Toronto for Thursday night's game against the Maple Leafs and will likely miss at least the next two games, interim coach Jacques Lemaire said after practice on Wednesday afternoon.

"No [he probably won't play the next two games]," Lemaire said. "He hasn't practiced."

Lemaire had no update when asked about a possible date for Brodeur's return. The NHL's all-time winningest goaltender remains day to day with a knee sprain.

Brodeur suffered the injury during the first period of Sunday's 4-1 win against the Canadiens in Montreal. He finished out the opening stanza, but was replaced by backup Johan Hedberg at the start of the second period.

Brodeur sat in the team's luxury box on Tuesday night, watching as Hedberg made 20 saves in the Devils' dramatic 3-2 overtime victory over the Carolina Hurricanes at the Prudential Center, which pushed New Jersey to within 15 points of the Hurricanes for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Devils have 28 games left to make up that seemingly improbable ground.

Brodeur, who is 13-19-2 with a 2.74 goals against average, underwent an MRI exam on Monday, but the results revealed that he will not need surgery.

"We don't know [how long he's going to be out]," Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello said Tuesday. "It's non-operable. He's going to undergo rehab and physical therapy. When he feels good, that's when we'll know he's OK."

Lamoriello said he was relieved the injury wasn't more serious.

"I went into a butterfly and my leg got caught up under me and I kind of heard a click," Brodeur said after Sunday's game. He watched the third period in Lamoriello's box. "[Monday] we'll see how it feels. I don't think it's anything major."

Mike McKenna backed up Hedberg on Tuesday night after being recalled from the team's AHL affiliate in Albany, and will continue to serve in that role until Brodeur returns.

"I am just going to try to play it game by game," said Hedberg, whose record now stands at 7-10-2 this season, on Tuesday.

Mike Mazzeo is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com. Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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