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NEWS

Kovalchuk remains out vs. Ottawa

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

Friday, 04.12.2013 / 12:11 PM / 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 PIT 32 22 6 4 102 72 48
2 NYI 33 23 10 0 104 91 46
3 MTL 34 21 11 2 92 83 44
4 TBL 35 20 11 4 113 93 44
5 DET 34 17 8 9 94 84 43
6 TOR 34 19 12 3 114 102 41
7 NYR 31 17 10 4 93 81 38
8 WSH 32 16 10 6 95 85 38
9 BOS 34 17 14 3 86 88 37
10 FLA 31 14 9 8 69 79 36
11 OTT 33 14 13 6 89 92 34
12 PHI 33 13 14 6 92 99 32
13 CBJ 32 14 15 3 79 102 31
14 NJD 35 12 17 6 77 102 30
15 BUF 34 13 18 3 66 109 29
16 CAR 33 9 20 4 68 92 22

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 28 9 11 0 20
J. Jagr 34 5 15 -11 20
M. Zidlicky 35 4 13 -5 17
M. Cammalleri 23 11 4 0 15
M. Ryder 33 4 10 -1 14
P. Elias 29 4 9 -16 13
D. Severson 32 4 8 -4 12
E. Gelinas 28 4 6 2 10
A. Greene 35 0 9 -3 9
T. Zajac 27 4 4 -6 8
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
K. Kinkaid 1 1 2 .939 1.75
C. Schneider 11 16 3 .915 2.57