BOSTON -- The New Jersey Devils could have forward Ilya Kovalchuk back tonight when they face the Boston Bruins at TD Garden.
Kovalchuk, who has missed the last four games due to a groin injury suffered Nov. 3, stayed on the ice beyond the regulation morning skate along with the Devils' healthy scratches and goaltender Martin Brodeur, and originally New Jersey coach Pete DeBoer confirmed he would sit out at least one more game.
"Another step in the right direction. He feels good," DeBoer said. "He hasn't taken any contact yet or through a full practice, so we just felt it's the right thing to do."
However, following DeBoer's initial meeting with the media, he spoke with Kovalchuk again and the forward will take part in the pre-game skate, according to newspaper reports. The Bergen Record and Newark Star-Ledger reported it is possible Kovalchuk could face the Bruins.
Johan Hedberg will start in goal. The Devils should have their hands full with Bruins team that has won five in a row.
"We're obviously aware of it. We're aware that they're on a roll," said DeBoer, whose team is 4-1-0 in its last five. "We have to try to take them out of that comfort zone early by playing well defensively and having people in front of them. We've got to get another road effort like we had in Washington."
Here’s the rest of the Devils' projected lineup:
Zach Parise - Adam Henrique - Nick Palmieri
Petr Sykora - Patrik Elias - Dainius Zubrus
Mattias Tedenby - Ryan Carter - David Clarkson
Vladimir Zharkov - Brad Mills - Cam Janssen
Andy Greene - Adam Larsson
Henrik Tallinder - Mark Fayne
Bryce Salvador - Anton Volchenkov