Brodeur skates again, still no timetable

NEWARK, N.J. -- Devils goalie Martin Brodeur (back) skated for the second straight day, but Devils coach Peter DeBoer said it's "too soon" to know when the veteran will return to practice.

Brodeur suffered the injury in warmups before facing Winnipeg on Feb. 24, as the team said he developed "soreness" in his back. He's been on IR retroactive to Feb. 24, and tonight's contest vs. Philadelphia will be his ninth straight missed game. Johan Hedberg will start his 10th straight game.

Tuesday marked the first time Brodeur skated since the injury, and Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello told reporters "it's still going to be a little bit" before Brodeur returns. He last played on Feb. 21 in a win against Washington, and is 8-2-3 on the year.

Defenseman Henrik Tallinder, who is on IR with a lower body injury, also skated again Tuesday. The Devils placed him on injured reserve Tuesday retroactive to March 7 as he has missed the last three games. The 34-year-old has played in just four of the team's last 13 games.

NO CHANGES: DeBoer said he will be using the same lineup as last game. So, center Harri Pesonen won't be making his NHL debut Wednesday. The Devils called up Pesonen after placing Tallinder on IR on Tuesday and he participated in the team's morning skate Wednesday.

"I'm here and I'm ready if something happens or the lineup changes," Pesonen said. "I can't complain."

Pesonen had been playing with Albany (AHL) where he notched 11 goals and 15 assists. The 24-year-old is hoping to make his debut Friday in Philadelphia. "I try not to be nervous," Pesonen said. "Try to be myself and be ready if I get called up to the lineup."

CLARKSON STRUGGLES: After a torrid start to the season, Devils forward David Clarkson has hit a wall over the past month. In his last 12 games, dating back to Feb. 16, Clarkson has just two assists, including just one this month. In the first 14 games, he had 10 goals and six assists.

DeBoer would like to see Clarkson create more chances around the goal.

"With David, for me, it's getting pucks to the net. He's a guy that gets shots on net from all different angles. We don't have a team with a real shot mentality so that's important and I think he gets rewarded for that when he does that," DeBoer said. "When you look at his shot totals, I think there's a correlation between him getting the puck to the net and the goals that go in."

Clarkson, who has scored 30 goals just once in his career, didn't seem too worried about his play. He believes he's had chances that just haven't resulted in goals. "As long as this team is winning I don't care if it's me or whoever is scoring. They'll go in if I get back to those areas of the ice and (keep) getting those chances," Clarkson said. "If you're not getting chances, then you worry. The chances are there, just got to continue going on those areas of the ice."