- Katie Strang, ESPN.com
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New Jersey Devils
The veteran defenseman, who has been banged up recently, left Wednesday's 5-4 loss to Boston after being hit by a shot from Boston's Zdeno Chara in the second period. He did not return to the game.
According to coach Pete DeBoer, Salvador is day-to-day. That's a relief considering the Devils will be without fellow blue-liner Anton Volchenkov Friday when they host the Senators in a critical match.
Volchenkov earned a four-game suspension for his elbow on Boston's Brad Marchand Wednesday night. The 31-year-old, who was previously suspended for elbowing Carolina's Zach Boychuck back in February 2011, earned a five-minute major and game misconduct on the play. Marchand, who had to be helped off the ice, did not return to the game.
Ilya Kovalchuk, who has been out with a shoulder injury since last month, is also day-to-day, according to DeBoer though his return date remains unclear.
Kovalchuk said he experienced some discomfort when attempting one-timers for the first time in two-and-a-half weeks and sounded non-committal when asked about playing Friday.
"We'll see," he said. "I don't know."
The star winger will likely not be 100% when he comes back, but he said he does not want to take somebody else's spot in the lineup unless he feels he can contribute.
"I just don't want to be a passenger, just sitting on the bench," Kovalchuk said. "Just want to make sure, physically, I feel fine."
Kovalchuk admitted, however, that the team's eight-game winless streak does have an impact on how he feels about coming back.
"Yeah, obviously," he said. "Eight games left and we're four points behind, so it's not a situation where we want to be, but, like I said, I don't want to just go out there because of that. You want to go out there to help the team. If you're going too take somebody's spot that's 100% healthy...to me that doesn't make any sense."
All throughout the lineup, the floundering Devils are hobbled. Backup netminder Johan Hedberg sat out Wednesday's game with "soreness." According to DeBoer, the team won't know until Friday morning whether Hedberg will be available to back up or whether they will use emergency recall Keith Kinkaid in that spot.
Second-year defenseman Adam Larsson took a hard shot off the right foot Wednesday, but said he is ready to go. Although his foot swelled up considerably Wednesday night, Larsson said he was feeling much better Friday.
"I'm ready to play, so hopefully I'll play tomorrow," he said.
38dPierre LeBrun and Joe McDonald