NEWS

Kovalchuk remains out vs. Ottawa

Devils also without Salvador (wrist), Volchenkov (suspension)

Friday, 04.12.2013 / 12:11 PM ET / News
By Mike G. Morreale  - NHL.com Staff Writer
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Kovalchuk remains out vs. Ottawa

NEWARK, N.J. -- In a season where the New Jersey Devils haven't fared well after allowing the first goal of the game, their inexplicable start in a loss to the Boston Bruins on Wednesday, with a Stanley Cup Playoff berth on the line, left coach Peter DeBoer "speechless."

The club will look to make amends Friday at Prudential Center against the Ottawa Senators, marking the fifth straight meeting against a Northeast Division opponent. In addition to entering the game 1-5-6 against the Northeast this season, the Devils will be looking to snap an eight-game winless streak (0-4-4) against a team that just snapped its own five-game skid with a 3-1 win at the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday.

The Devils will have defenseman Adam Larsson back in the lineup against the Senators after he sat out Wednesday with a sore right foot. However, the team will be without defensemen Bryce Salvador (wrist) and Anton Volchenkov (suspended), as well as right wing Ilya Kovalchuk (shoulder).

Kovalchuk will miss his ninth straight game Friday. He hasn't played since injuring his right shoulder in the third period of a victory against the Florida Panthers on March 23. He did not skate with the team Friday morning and reiterated to reporters Thursday that he wasn't 100 percent.

"We have eight games left and if we don't get a win pretty soon … this is a must-win for us and while [Kovalchuk] is a big part of this team and we miss him, we've lost a lot of important guys in this room over the years and we've found a way to rise above and play and we have to do that right now," Devils forward David Clarkson said.

The Devils' winless skid coincided with Kovalchuk's injury.

"[Kovalchuk] is not ready yet," DeBoer said. "If he was close already, he'd be playing. I never said he was going to play [Friday]. You guys [the media] did, so it's the same story … he's day-to-day and not ready to play right now."

Volchenkov, sixth on the team in hits (46) and fourth in blocked shots (42), will be serving the first of a four-game suspension for his elbow to the head of Bruins forward Brad Marchand in the third period of the loss Wednesday.

"We've got eight defensemen here so you can't worry about [Volchenkov being out]," DeBoer said. "Larsson and [Peter] Harrold will be in and you have to find a way to get the job done."

Scoring that elusive first goal will be the key, as it has been all season for the Devils. New Jersey is 12-1-4 when scoring first, but 3-14-6 when yielding the first goal.

Martin Brodeur, who made 13 saves in a 5-4 loss to the Bruins on Wednesday, is expected to make his 11th straight start in goal for the Devils. Since his return to the lineup from a pinched nerve in his neck on March 21, Brodeur is 2-4-4 with a 2.36 goals-against average and .888 save percentage.

Here is how the Devils might line up:

Patrik Elias - Travis Zajac - Steve Sullivan

Dainius Zubrus - Adam Henrique - David Clarkson

Alexei Ponikarovsky - Andrei Loktionov - Matt D'Agostini

Ryan Carter - Stephen Gionta - Steve Bernier

Andy Greene - Mark Fayne

Peter Harrold - Adam Larsson

Henrik Tallinder - Marek Zidlicky

Martin Brodeur

Johan Hedberg

Scratched: Krystofer Barch, Jacob Josefson, Tom Kostopoulos

Injured: Ilya Kovalchuk (shoulder), Bryce Salvador (wrist)

Suspended: Anton Volchenkov

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