After 12-game absence, Brodeur backs up Hedberg for Devils tonight


Martin Brodeur will return to the New Jersey lineup tonight — in a reserve role.

The 4o-year-old ‘tender will back up Johan Hedberg as the Devils take on the Rangers in New Jersey, the first time Brodeur will be on the active roster since suffering a pinched nerve on Feb. 23.

After missing 12 games, Brodeur now feels healthy enough to return in a backup role.

“I’ve been given the OK and that’s the way we’re going now,” he told after participating in his second consecutive practice on Tuesday.  “It’s been fun the last two days being in the room and knowing what’s going on a little bit.

“When you’re injured, you’re always on the side doing your own thing, so it’s nice to be back.”

Brodeur said he expects to be back starting on Thursday when the Devils travel to Carolina to take on the Hurricanes.

The team has struggled with Brodeur out of the lineup, posting a 3-7-2 mark over the last 12 games — a far cry from the red-hot 10-3-4 mark it posted to start the season.

Brodeur is 8-2-3 this year with a 2.27 goals-against average, .911 save percentage and one shutout.