Skip to content

Ilya Kovalchuk enjoy pain-free return

Apr 20, 2013, 6:55 PM EDT

ilyakovalchukgetty Getty Images

Ilya Kovalchuk told the Bergen Record that he didn’t feel pain or experience problems during his return to action in the New Jersey Devils’ 6-2 win against the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

“The first couple of shifts I was little – not nervous – but not in game shape,” Kovalchuk said. “Then, after the first five minutes I got a couple of hits and I feel more comfortable and we started playing better as a line for sure.”

In some ways, it’s likely a good sign that Kovalchuk, 30, seemed preoccupied with his individual shortcomings during a blowout win instead of any soreness to his injured shoulder (which has sidelined him since March 23).

“You don’t want to be minus when the team wins 6-2,” Kovalchuk said. “It doesn’t really matter, but still we as a line we want to produce and that’s what the coaches want from us. They give us a chance to play on the (power play) and all different situations, so you’ve got to put the puck in the net.”

The Russian star didn’t score a point, but he had 22:43 minutes of ice time and three shots on goal. While Kovalchuk critiqued that -1, head coach Peter DeBoer praised his play.

“I thought he was good,” DeBoer said. “First game back, he got his feet wet. I’m glad he got a game under him before we go into tomorrow to get his timing back. He created a half dozen chances for himself or other people. That’s what he does for us.”

Latest Posts
  1. Fleury’s true comeback bid starts tonight

    Apr 16, 2014, 8:58 AM EDT

    Marc-Andre Fleury Marc-Andre Fleury

    His solid regular season will be overshadowed by whatever he does in the playoffs.

  2. 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs: PHT’s Round 1 picks

    Apr 16, 2014, 7:00 AM EDT

    StanleyCupPlayoffs14

    Add yours in the comments section.

  3. Report: Duchene to miss at least first two games of Avalanche-Wild series

    Apr 15, 2014, 9:31 PM EDT

    Boston Bruins v Colorado Avalanche Getty Images

    “It puts a lot more pressure on everybody else,” says Nathan MacKinnon.

  4. Florida wins ’14 NHL draft lottery, will pick first overall

    Apr 15, 2014, 8:25 PM EDT

    NHL2014Draft

    After losing the No. 1 pick to Colorado last year.

  5. Pressing question: Will Philly get the goaltending?

    Apr 15, 2014, 6:55 PM EDT

    Steve Mason, Ray Emery AP

    Heck, will Steve Mason even be available?

  6. NHL hit with third concussion lawsuit

    Apr 15, 2014, 6:43 PM EDT

    bettmangetty Getty Images

    Just days after another group of ex-players filed last Thursday.

  7. PHT Extra: Can the Jackets upset the Penguins?

    Apr 15, 2014, 5:31 PM EDT

    Pittsburgh Penguins v Columbus Blue Jackets Getty Images

    What about the Stars over the Ducks?

  8. Boudreau won’t say who’s starting for Ducks, but the money’s on Andersen

    Apr 15, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    Frederik Andersen, Jonas Hiller AP

    “I don’t think I can screw it up too bad whoever I choose.”

  9. Calgary’s AHL affiliate parts ways with Abbotsford

    Apr 15, 2014, 3:13 PM EDT

    abbotsford heat logo

    The city has terminated the contract.

  10. Philly mum on Mason’s availability for Game 1 vs. Rangers

    Apr 15, 2014, 2:08 PM EDT

    Philadelphia Flyers v Florida Panthers Getty Images

    “That’s not been determined yet,” said head coach Craig Berube.

Featured video

Are Penguins vulnerable vs. Columbus?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. E. Malkin (4330)
  2. T. Oshie (3105)
  3. M. Brodeur (3093)
  4. M. Duchene (2902)
  5. D. Backes (2859)