A month ago, it appeared the Devils would not play any more meaningful games this season.

Tonight, however, they will face the Carolina Hurricanes in a game at Prudential Center that – though their playoff hopes are still an extreme long shot – does have some meaning. And they'll have to do it without goaltender Martin Brodeur.

Brodeur underwent an MRI on his injured right knee and was examined by team doctors on Monday. Brodeur said he "tweaked" his knee when his right leg got caught under him while making a save on Tomas Plekanec in the first period of Sunday's 4-1 win in Montreal.

General manager Lou Lamoriello said he would not know results of the MRI and the doctors' examination until today and declined to speculate on the severity of Brodeur's injury.

"Until I know what the results are, I won't have any thoughts," he said.

Lamoriello said the team would call up another goaltender to back up Johan Hedberg tonight, but hadn't decided which one yet.

Tonight's game is the first of three against the Hurricanes in the next 12 days. Those three games could go a long way in determining whether the Devils' improbable playoff dream has any real legs and also influence how Lamoriello approaches the Feb. 28 trade deadline.

The Hurricanes were tied with Atlanta – and held the tiebreaker with more non-shootout wins – for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East prior to the Thrashers' game against Toronto on Monday night. By going 9-1-2 in their last 12 games, the Devils have climbed within 16 points of the Hurricanes.