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Kovalchuk improving, doubtful on return this week

Wednesday, 04.10.2013 / 11:55 AM

By Mike G. Morreale - Staff Writer / 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

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2012-2013 At the Rink blog
Kovalchuk improving, doubtful on return this week

NEWARK, N.J. -- New Jersey Devils right wing Ilya Kovalchuk will miss his eighth straight game Wednesday when his team faces the Boston Bruins (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2), he did admit to feeling better during his second practice with the team in as many days.

Kovalchuk, however, hasn't put a timetable on his return to the lineup.

"I don't know [when I'll be back]," Kovalchuk said. "That's what we'll decide with doctors and coaches, but I don't think I'll be back [Friday against the Ottawa Senators]."

Kovalchuk said he felt a lot better at practice Wednesday and was able to shoot a little more.

"We definitely took more shots and there were some battles in the end, so it felt good," he said. "It's definitely a step in the right direction.

"I haven't been able to unload the big one-timers, but I just tried to shoot harder [Wednesday]. When skating and doing sprints, it didn't bother me at all and that's a positive thing."

Kovalchuk, who is second on the team with 27 points, including 10 goals, said he will continue speaking to his trainers and team doctors regularly.

"They are always friendly conversations [with the trainers]," Kovalchuk said with a grin. "But, for sure, I want to be back as soon as I can to help the team wherever I can to win the games because this is a crucial moment of the season. Like guys have been saying, they are fun games to play in and for us the playoffs start [Wednesday], so it's a huge game against a good opponent."


Quote of the Day

It's cool when you think about how many great American players have played the game and the two players that were at that 18-game point streak and what they've done in their careers. It's pretty cool right now, but it was kind of overshadowed by the loss.

— Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane after breaking the record for longest point streak by an American-born player with a goal and an assist in a 3-2 overtime loss against the Kings
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