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Frazee eager for opportunity after recall

by Eric Marin / New Jersey Devils

One day after Keith Kinkaid made his NHL debut, it was Jeff Frazee's turn to talk about getting a chance of his own.

Frazee, 25, was recalled from Albany (AHL) on Wednesday, while Kinkaid and Cam Janssen were reassigned to the Devils' AHL affiliate.

Kinkaid, 23, made 12 saves Tuesday in relief of Johan Hedberg, who was pulled in the second period of the 5-2 loss to Tampa Bay. Kinkaid shined in his "Welcome to the NHL" moment, stopping Steven Stamkos on a breakaway early in the third period.

"He was happy," Frazee said after skating in Wednesday's practice. "I told him he played well. It's definitely an intimidating thing when you come in in the middle of a game for your first NHL game. It's tough coming in in the middle of a game no matter what league you're in and how many games you've played. It gets your nerves going."

Taken in the second round, 38th overall, in the 2005 Draft, Frazee has his sights set on his own NHL debut. He's 7-9-4 with a 2.33 goals-against average and .920 save percentage in 21 games with Albany.

As much as Frazee dreams of that first NHL game, he doesn't want it at another goalie's expense.

"I wouldn't want it under those circumstances," he said. "I would obviously want Hedberg to play his best and everyone to get the wins and the team playing well and everything like that. If I got a chance, great, but I don't think I would want it under those circumstances."

Frazee last dressed as a backup for Hedberg last February, when Martin Brodeur missed a game with an ankle injury. With Brodeur ruled out for Thursday's meeting with Buffalo, Hedberg will make his seventh consecutive start.

This call-up could bring the opportunity Frazee's been waiting for.

"I want an NHL chance," he said. "You never know what you can do until you get a chance. When I played my first AHL game, when I came out of college, we lost 4-1, I played two periods and they had 25 shots. I gave up three goals, but I came out of that game thinking I can play, I can play in this league, I can compete. The next year I was an AHL All-Star.

"Just getting your feet wet can give you that kind of perspective and give you that confidence."

• Head coach Peter DeBoer updated that Brodeur is "feeling better," but said there's no timetable for his return.

"It's heading in the right direction," DeBoer said.

The Devils are 0-4-1 since Brodeur left pregame warmups with back soreness on Feb. 24.

"There's no excuse this time of year," the coach said. "Everyone's missing good players, great players, key players – you have to persevere."

• DeBoer on Janssen: "He wasn't going to play on Thursday, so they've got him back (in Albany)."

• Wednesday's practice was limited to recent healthy scratches Peter Harrold, Stefan Matteau and Anton Volchenkov, Frazee and Krys Barch.

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