"It's been a long wait for me," Roussel said. "My last start was the last game of the season. It's been, like, a month. He gave me a chance to play a little bit (on Monday), and you always hope.
"I also realize that Hexy played good through the playoffs. It's hard for the coach to pull him out of there."
One thing Roussel did like was that Murray told him of his decision.
"I think that's neat because not every coach will do that," Roussel said. ''A lot of coaches won't talk to you for the whole time."
While Roussel said he would not lobby for more playing time during the playoffs, he added that he didn't particularly enjoy being Hextall's backup this season. Roussel went 11-7 and had a 2.34 goals-against average in 19 regular-season games.
Hextall was 17-9-4 with a 2.89 goals-against average in 31 games.
"For me, it's a really tough time," Roussel said. "It's an exciting time for the Flyers, and it's tough to watch. I've always known I had the ability to be a No. 1. This year, I've had my best season so far. I think I've learned
from the last couple of years. I'm ready to start."
NOT FOR SALE. Devils owner John McMullen rejected an offer by financier Robert E. Brennan to buy the team and keep it in New Jersey, Brennan said yesterday.
Where the Devils will play next season has been uncertain for several weeks. Recently, McMullen has been discussing both a potential move to Nashville with Tennessee officials and a revision of his lease at the Meadowlands with New Jersey authorities.
McMullen has been unhappy with the Devils' lease with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority ever since the team moved here from Colorado in 1982. He reportedly met with New Jersey officials before last night's game, but could not be reached for comment.
Brennan's offer was believed to be about $65 million, and it would increase $10 million if the Devils won their first Stanley Cup.
HAPPY RETURNS. His sore back much better after he had a day off, defenseman Petr Svoboda returned to the Flyers lineup last night after missing the third period of Game 1 on Saturday and all of Game 2 on Monday.
Svoboda strained a muscle in his back in the second period Saturday night.
"It was real hard (to sit out) because in the playoffs you don't want to miss any games," said Svoboda, who was whistled for two penalties in the first period last night. "Unfortunately, I couldn't play the other day
because I was too stiff."
Rob Zettler, who replaced Svoboda on Monday, was scratched again last night.
Forward Jim Montgomery, scratched since the first three games of the conference quarterfinals, also returned to the lineup. He played in place of winger Gilbert Dionne.
ON THE LOOSE. The Flyers are a loose bunch. One of them (we're not saying which) nailed the shoes of defenseman Karl Dykhuis to the bench in the visitors' dressing room yesterday.
On Tuesday, someone hid some stinky cheese in Dykhuis' suit jacket, and he emptied his suitcase trying to find the origin of the smell. Only after he
stunk up an elevator did he discover the cheese in his jacket.
STARTING TIME. Game 4, to be played Saturday at the Meadowlands, will begin at 3 p.m.
This article contains information from the Associated Press.