Nov 4, 2011, 5:01 PM EDT
New Jersey Devils LW Ilya Kovalchuk might not be available for Saturday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets. Kovalchuk left Thursday’s 4-3 SO win over Philadelphia in the third period and did not return for overtime or the shootout — which was an eye-opener, as Kovalchuk is a perfect three-for-three on shootouts this season.
Kovalchuk told Rich Chere of the New Jersey Star-Ledger that he pulled a lower body muscle (oh good, that narrows it down) during his last shift of the game.
“On the last shift I tried to back check,” Kovalchuk explained. “I never got it before. We have good doctors. We’ll see what they tell me.”
(Insert “see what happens when Kovalchuk tries to back check?” joke here.)
Today, head coach Peter DeBoer updated the situation by saying Kovalchuk pulled a leg muscle — Tom Gulitti of the Fire & Ice blog notes Kovi was walking with noticeable leg stiffness — but didn’t offer much more. “We’re going to evaluate him today and get a report tonight and probably it will be more we’ll see how he feels tomorrow morning.” Deboer said.
New Jersey can ill-afford to lose Kovalchuk’s offense — outside of he and Patrik Elias, the Devils aren’t getting much production at all. Last year’s third-leading scorer, Travis Zajac, is out with a torn achilles. Zach Parise has notched five goals…but just a single assist, and is minus-3. As for the defense…yeesh. New Jersey has just 11 points from its blueline this year, and eight of those have come from Mark Fayne and Andy Greene.
- Video: Flyers trounce slumping Penguins on Rivalry Night 29
- Video: Crosby scores goal No. 300 for his NHL career 5
- (Video) McKenzie: ‘Best guess is anywhere from 3-5 games’ for Byfuglien suspension 15
- Byfuglien to have phone hearing for Miller cross-check 44
- Patrick Kane is practicing today 30
- NHL on NBCSN: Flyers won’t fool with Penguins on Rivalry Night 35
- ‘Could’ve broken his neck,’ says Vigneault of Byfuglien cross check on Miller 66
- Video: Byfuglien gets away with ugly cross check, penalized late in Jets loss to Rangers 36
- Video: Lucic scores late winner, Bruins deal crushing blow to Panthers playoff hopes 11
- Video: Ovi becomes sixth player in history to record six 50-goal seasons 18
- ‘Could’ve broken his neck,’ says Vigneault of Byfuglien cross check on Miller (66)
- Minnesota leapfrogs Chicago in the Central Division (65)
- Coyotes ‘win’ against Sabres in OT (58)
- Sabres GM Tim Murray: ‘I think too much about’ McDavid (55)
- Report: Warrant issued for Deveaux’s arrest following Swedish league attack (49)