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NEWS

Healthy Volchenkov returns to the lineup

Friday, 11.05.2010 / 12:36 PM / 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

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AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 63 41 17 5 171 139 87
2 NYR 62 39 17 6 196 153 84
3 NYI 64 41 21 2 205 179 84
4 TBL 64 38 20 6 210 171 82
5 DET 61 35 15 11 180 159 81
6 PIT 62 36 17 9 181 155 81
7 WSH 64 34 20 10 188 159 78
8 BOS 62 31 22 9 165 161 71
9 FLA 63 28 22 13 154 178 69
10 PHI 63 27 25 11 168 183 65
11 OTT 60 27 23 10 171 163 64
12 NJD 63 26 27 10 141 164 62
13 CBJ 62 26 32 4 160 196 56
14 CAR 62 24 31 7 144 167 55
15 TOR 63 25 33 5 170 193 55
16 BUF 63 19 39 5 123 212 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
M. Cammalleri 51 23 10 4 33
A. Henrique 56 12 20 -1 32
P. Elias 53 10 16 -13 26
S. Gomez 39 5 18 -9 23
M. Zidlicky 63 4 19 -7 23
T. Zajac 55 10 10 -4 20
S. Bernier 48 10 8 1 18
M. Ryder 44 6 12 -2 18
A. Larsson 45 2 16 3 18
M. Havlat 38 5 9 -12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 23 23 6 .927 2.19
K. Kinkaid 3 4 3 .915 2.59