Anton Volchenkov was a major contributor for the New Jersey Devils in last night’s 3-2 shootout win over the Winnipeg Jets. In a game that the Devils desperately needed to win, Volchenkov gave up his body for his team.
Anton, third on the Devils with 33 blocked shots in 22 games played, came up huge in the third period. After an Ilya Kovalchuk tripping penalty 1:03 into the period, Volchenkov was one of four Devils penalty killers on the ice. Evander Kane, who scored the game tying goal earlier in the second period appeared to have found a golden shooting lane from the point, but Volchenkov had other ideas.
#28 for New Jersey sacrificed his body and took Kane’s shot directly in the back. Volchenkov went down to the ice, but was unable to initially get to the bench because the puck was kept in the zone by the Jets. As the play continued and Volchenkov hobbled to his feet, he was able to muster the strength to attempt a diving sweep check. This was successful, and the Devils were able to clear the zone to allow for a change in their penalty killers. Volchenkov headed directly to the locker room, and at this point all thought that his night was over.
After a brief visit to the locker room, Volchenkov was back on the bench. He may not have even missed a single shift! The crowd at Prudential Center was shocked to see him back on the ice so quickly, especially when he almost gave the Devils a 3-2 lead on a two on one after leaving the bench.
Volchenkov would make one more outstanding play before the Devils pulled out the victory in the shootout. Still a tie game, Zach Bogosian ripped a slap shot hoping to give the Jets the two points in the standings. However, Volchenkov sacrificed his foot this time and blocked Bogosian’s shot. Anton’s night ended here as his foot required X-rays.
Luckily, the X-rays came back negative. It seems that he will be in the lineup when the Devils face off against the Philadelphia Flyers at 7:30 on Wednesday at the Prudential Center in Newark. One wouldn’t expect anything different from last night’s New Jersey Devils ironman.