Devils captain Salvador a late scratch vs. Phoenix

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Desperate to keep their slim playoff chances alive, the Devils were dealt a tough blow when captain Bryce Salvador was scratched with a lower-body injury just prior to tonight’s game against the Coyotes.

The ailment, believed to be a groin issue, kept Salvador out of practice this week, but there was no confirmation he’d be missing tonight’s big game until just prior to puck drop.

Health-wise, it’s been a tough season¬† for the 38-year-old — he missed 30 straight games from October to December with a non-displaced stress fracture in his foot, then missed a pair of games in early March with a bruised collarbone.

All told, Salvador has appeared in just 40 games this year, scoring one goal and four points. He has one more year remaining on his three-year, $9.5 million deal.