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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 - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Palmieri 82 30 27 3 57
A. Henrique 80 30 20 10 50
T. Zajac 74 14 28 3 42
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
D. Severson 72 1 20 -8 21
R. Boucher 39 8 11 -13 19
D. Schlemko 67 6 13 -22 19
J. Moore 73 4 15 -12 19
A. Larsson 82 3 15 15 18
J. Blandisi 41 5 12 -14 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 27 25 6 .924 2.15
K. Kinkaid 9 9 1 .904 2.81
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