The New Jersey Devils have had no luck with injuries this season, and that trend continued on Tuesday as the club placed veteran defenseman Anton Volchenkov on IR with a pulled leg muscle.
Volchenkov, 31, hasn’t skated since playing just 5:05 in a 3-2 win over the Rangers last Tuesday. He’s missed the Devils’ last two games — a 2-0 loss to L.A. and a 4-1 win over Pittsburgh — and, while he was put on injured reserve retroactive to Nov. 12 (eligible to come off today), he won’t travel with the Devils on their upcoming three-game trek through California for games against the Ducks, Kings and Sharks.
The burly Russian rearguard has been a fairly solid contributor for the Devils this year. He leads all d-men with a plus-2 rating and had been getting significant minutes just prior to getting hurt, including a season-high 22:41 in a 3-0 win over the Flyers on Nov. 7.
What’s more, he’s been a nice part of a Devils defense that sits seventh in the NHL in goals allowed per game (2.25) this year.
New Jersey now has Volchenkov, Ryane Clowe, Bryce Salvador and Jon Merrill on IR, and only recently activated veteran forward Patrik Elias. (Merrill has technically been activated for a stint in Albany, but has yet to play.)