Zajac, Volchenkov out, Zalewski to make Devils debut

January, 6, 2012
1/06/12
11:47
AM ET
Both Travis Zajac (Achilles soreness) and Anton Volchenkov (lower-body) will miss Friday's game against the Florida Panthers, according to Devils coach Pete DeBoer.

Neither player participated in the Devils' optional morning skate, opting instead to take an extra day of rest.

DeBoer said he was not sure whether either will accompany the team to Pittsburgh for Saturday's game against the Penguins.

With Zajac out, Steve Zalewski will make his Devils debut.

The 25-year-old forward, called up by the Devils on Wednesday, has nine goals and 12 assists in 34 games for the team's minor-league affiliate in Albany.

He was abruptly dropped off by Albany's team bus at a New Jersey turnpike rest stop when informed of his recall -- Albany was headed to Norfolk for Friday's game against the Admirals -- and was left with little in his luggage by way of clothes.

Zalewski went with a teammate to a local mall Thursday night to buy a pair of jeans so he had some casual wear on hand.

The Utica, NY native played three NHL games with the San Jose Sharks in 2009, but is anxious to see how he fares with two more years of experience under his belt.

"I'm really just excited to get out there and play," he said. "When you're playing in the AHL this is your ultimate goal for everyone down there. To get the chance to play one game or more than that, obviously it's an exciting opportunity."
Katie Strang covers the NHL for ESPN.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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