Mar 18, 2013, 11:38 AM EDT
There was a sight for sore eyes at Devils practice on Monday as Martin Brodeur returned to the ice, taking a full compliment of shots without restraint.
The 40-year-old netminder has been out of action since Feb. 21 with a back issue and hasn’t practiced with teammates since a morning skate on Feb. 24.
He’s missed New Jersey’s last 12 games as a result — a stretch that coincided with the Devils going 3-7-2 (after starting the year 10-3-4).
Given this is just Brodeur’s first practice in nearly three weeks, it’s unlikely he’ll get the call on Tuesday when the Devils take on the Rangers at the Prudential Center.
It’s likely the starting duties will once again fall to Johan Hedberg, who has been steady as of late, allowing two goals or fewer in his last four starts.
This means Brodeur could be back in goal on Thursday when the Devs travel to Carolina to take on the Hurricanes.
Brodeur is 8-2-3 this year with a 2.27 goals-against average, .911 save percentage and one shutout.
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