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Modin sore after first practice

Fredrik Modin practiced Wednesday morning for the first time since surgery Feb. 26 to repair torn cartilage in his right wrist.

"It started off really good, but the longer I was out there, the more sore it got," said Modin, who has not played since Jan. 26. "So it's feeling pretty good but not as good as I want."

Modin, who has 14 goals in 49 games, has no target date to return. He was expected to miss 4 to 6 weeks.

Because Modin shoots left-handed, his right wrist is at the top of the stick when he shoots and faces less pressure than the left. That's the good news.

"But my right hand is the hand I hold the stick with when I hold it with one hand," he said. "It is the one I need a lot of strength in to work with my stick. It's the one-handed stuff that really bothers me."

Modin said he is eager to return, especially with the team in playoff contention.

"I didn't want to get off the ice," he said. "It was nice to be in a practice situation, taking some quick shots and doing drills. But I need a couple of days in a row where it feels good before I can say when I'll be able to play."

MAKING A POINT: Veteran Dave Andreychuk made sure teammates noted how good it felt to rally for a tie Monday at Philadelphia. He stood in the middle of the locker room and asked, "How do you feel?"

"It was a great question because we haven't been in that situation very often," coach John Tortorella said. "He was saying, "This is how you should feel more often.' "

_ JOANNE KORTH, DAMIAN CRISTODERO

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