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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

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 82 24 43 16 67
P. Elias 65 18 35 -4 53
T. Zajac 80 18 30 3 48
A. Henrique 77 25 18 3 43
M. Zidlicky 81 12 30 -3 42
M. Ryder 82 18 16 -6 34
A. Greene 82 8 24 3 32
E. Gelinas 60 7 22 -3 29
D. Zubrus 82 13 13 1 26
R. Clowe 43 7 19 -10 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 16 15 12 .921 1.97
M. Brodeur 19 14 6 .901 2.51