Martin Brodeur's assault on the record book will be put on hold as the Devils' goalkeeper will undergo surgery to repair torn biceps tendons and will be out of the lineup for up to four months.
''This Thursday morning, Martin Brodeur will undergo surgery to repair the distal bicep in the left elbow," Devils president, CEO and general manager Lou Lamriello said in a statement.
''We will not have any further comment or update until after the surgery is complete.''
His surgery will be performed by Dr. Steven Beldner, with the assistance of team orthopedist, Dr. Barry Fisher.
''We just wanted to make sure I needed surgery,'' Brodeur said on a conference call. ''I didn't want to have surgery if I didn't need to. But they feel it's the best way to repair what I have.''
Brodeur extended his arm trying to make a save and ended up tearing the tendon that connects the bicep to the elbow off the bone.
''It's shocking,'' Brodeur said. ''You expect, 'OK my knee is going to go, or my groin, my stomach, something that I use for a goalie.' I didn't think a bicep could have been a big factor in an injury, it's such a freak accident.''
Lamoriello told the Bergen Record that Brodeur is expected to make a full recovery and should return before the end of the regular season.
Brodeur suffered the injury during the second period of Saturday's Devils victory over the Atlanta Thrashers with what was described as a "bruised elbow." He left the arena without talking to the media and was listed as day-to-day by the team.
Kevin Weekes got the start for the Devils in Monday's loss to the Sabres ending Brodeur's treak of 51 consecutive regular-season starts. Weekes is expected to see the majority of action in Brodeur's absence.
"When you have a Marty Brodeur as a goaltender and he's out for a significant amount of time sure it certainly gives you a knot in your stomach, but you have move forward," Devils coach Brent Sutter told the Bergen Record. "I'm confident and I trust the players here that they will do what needs to be done to move forward."
Brodeur, a three-time Stanley Cup champion is now stuck on 544 career victories, meaning he needs just seven victories to tie Patrick Roy's record of 551 wins. He is also five shutouts short of Terry Sawchuk's career mark for shutouts with 103.
''It's unfortunate. It's too bad,'' New York Rangers coach Tom Renney told The Canadian Press. ''You want to see the best players in the game playing, obviously. We all have a lot of respect for Marty and what he's done and we want to see him get healthy. But in the meantime, let's make hay.''