Anton Volchenkov suspended

Anton Volchenkov's elbow to the head of Carolina Hurricanes forward Zach Boychuk will cost the New Jersey Devils' defenseman three games.

Volchenkov was assessed a minor penalty for elbowing in the second period of the Devils' 3-2 win Tuesday night. He racked up a total of three minors (the others being high-sticking and delay of game), and the NHL scheduled a disciplinary hearing Wednesday morning to review the hit.

"It's tough," Volchenkov said. "But the rules are the rules. But at the same time I didn't really try to hit him [in the head]. It was an accident. An accident for both of us."

Agent Jay Grossman first posted news of the suspension on his Twitter account, and the league confirmed it later Wednesday.

"While he has not been involved in a supplemental discipline incident previously and it is fortunate that his opponent returned to play in the game, Volchenkov delivered an illegal blow to the head," NHL senior executive vice president of hockey operations Colin Campbell said in a statement.

Volchenkov, who will also forfeit $68,548.38 in salary, said he will not accompany the Devils for their road game in Toronto on Thursday night.

"I watched it today in the morning," Volchenkov said. "It's been very clear what's going on in the game. I know the rules. This isn't my first year. There's been rules for a long time. I always try to play clean, make clean hits. I take lots of hits. It's a bad situation. Hockey is a tough sport. It's just a quick situation. It was a bad accident."

Mark Fraser will dress in his place, interim coach Jacques Lemaire said after Wednesday's afternoon practice.

Volchenkov will be eligible to return on Feb. 18 against the New York Rangers.

He is in his first year in New Jersey after seven seasons with Ottawa. He has no goals and four assists, is plus-2 and has registered 30 penalty minutes this season.

ESPNNewYork.com's Mike Mazzeo and ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun contributed to this report.