NEWARK, N.J. --
Devils coach Pete DeBoer confirmed that forward Ilya Kovalchuk
will not play in either of the home-and-home games against the Washington Capitals
this weekend due to a pulled leg muscle. The Devils host Washington tonight at Prudential Center and play the Capitals at Verizon Center on Saturday.
Kovalchuk has missed the last two games with a pulled leg muscle, an injury he suffered in Philadelphia last week.
"He did skate this morning, but we're in November and … we don't want to turn this into something that lingers," DeBoer said. "Lingering is probably the best way to describe it."
, who was recalled from Albany late Thursday, will play on the fourth line alongside Brad Mills
and Cam Janssen
. Rod Pelley
will be the healthy scratch among the forwards.
"Early in the season we've made a habit of shuffling our fourth line around, our lines around in general," DeBoer said. "Hopefully (Zharkov brings) some energy and a different look. He's a little bit of a different player than Pelley. He plays a different game and can complement Mills and Janssen hopefully."
, who missed several games earlier in the season with a shoulder injury, is expected to get his third straight start in goal. He's won the last two, giving up just 4 goals in the process.
"I'm getting there," Brodeur told NHL.com. "The more you play the more you feel comfortable. It helps to get in somewhat of a rhythm. I didn't have one earlier due to the lack of playing. It felt for a while like the season never started for me, so this is the start of my season now."
Here are the Devils lines and defense pairings from the skate:
- Adam Henrique
- Nick Palmieri
Petr Sykora - Patrik Elias
- Dainius Zubrus
- Ryan Carter
- David Clarkson
- Brad Mills
- Cam Janssen
- Adam Larsson
- Mark Fayne
- Anton Volchenkov
Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl