NEWS

Healthy Volchenkov returns to the lineup

Friday, 11.5.2010 / 12:36 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Healthy Volchenkov returns to the lineup
Anton Volchenkov
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Anyone who saw Anton Volchenkov hit in the face by that Nicklas Backstrom slapshot certainly knows how painful it looked. The puck drilled Volchenkov in the shield, breaking his nose during the Devils' visit to Washington on Oct. 9 and leaving him with a stiff neck.

Tonight, after a 12-game absence, the rugged defenseman returns to the lineup against the Rangers.

"I had some good skates, some good practices," Volchenkov said. "I'm in good condition now and I'm ready to go." 

He had just gotten his nose fixed over the summer. Unfortunately, the damage was nothing new for the shotblocking specialist.

"I break it every year, almost," he said. "I tried to fix it for a brief period, and in the second game, right straight to my nose."

The Devils have been battered this season by injuries to key regulars like Martin Brodeur (elbow), Zach Parise (knee), Brian Rolston (sports hernia) and Bryce Salvador (concussion). They're also missing forward Jacob Josefson (hand), and defensemen Matt Corrente (broken hand) and Mark Fraser (broken hand).

So getting back a veteran blueliner was good news for head coach John MacLean. His team won 5-3 at Chicago on Wednesday and aims for its first home win of the season with Johan Hedberg starting against the Rangers.

"It feels good," MacLean said. "Volchie, it's going to be good to have him back. We're probably not going to have time to ease him into it, so he's going to get right into it, which I'm sure he's ready for."

Brodeur left Wednesday's game in the second period after taking a Patrick Kane shot off his right elbow. The Devils blew a 2-0 cushion before regaining the lead on Brad Mills' first NHL goal. MacLean wants to see his club feed off of those positives tonight.

"I think it helps," the coach said. "I thought we played a very good game. I thought everybody was on board and played hard. Some guys played a lot of extra minutes and I felt we played, overall, a 60-minute game. We stuck with it, we battled through the adversity in that game and came out on top."

Colin White will be out of the lineup tonight with the flu. Alexander Urbom was recalled from Albany (AHL) under emergency conditions.

"It's out of our control, it's unfortunate, but it's another opportunity for somebody to play," MacLean said, admitting he's never seen anything like this rash of setbacks.

Not even a month into the season, the Devils have already lost 72 man games to injury.

Said MacLean: "You have to hold the thought that it will serve us well down the road."

Urbom made the team out of training camp and played in six games before he was assigned to Albany. MacLean feels that experience should serve the 19-year-old well this time around.

"I hope so," he said. "He's been up here before so he knows what to expect. He'll get another opportunity tonight."


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 75 16 27 -6 43
M. Cammalleri 68 27 15 2 42
P. Elias 69 13 21 -20 34
S. Gomez 58 7 27 -10 34
S. Bernier 67 16 16 2 32
T. Zajac 74 11 14 -3 25
A. Larsson 64 3 21 2 24
A. Greene 82 3 19 1 22
E. Gelinas 61 6 13 -2 19
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 31 9 .925 2.26
K. Kinkaid 6 5 4 .915 2.59