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Round 2
Round 3
Stanley Cup Final

Devils' Kovalchuk to miss Game 2 with injury

By Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- New Jersey Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello informed the media on Tuesday morning that Ilya Kovalchuk will be sidelined with a lower-body injury for Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC).

"We left Ilya Kovalchuk back in New Jersey and he will not be in the lineup [Tuesday] and the reason is a lower-body injury and that's all we will say," Lamoriello said. "He is day-to-day. We'll have no other further comments on Ilya's situation."

Kovalchuk did not take part in the Devils' practice Monday, instead receiving therapeutic treatment for what some media reports have speculated may be an injury to his groin or a muscle in his leg.

Despite any limitations he might have, Kovalchuk has still been taking his regular minutes throughout the playoffs -- he saw more than 26 minutes of action in each of New Jersey's overtime wins against Florida in Games 6 and 7 during the first round, and skated 21:20 against Philadelphia in a 4-3 overtime loss in Game 1 on Sunday.

"He's had this since the middle of the first series, and progressively it's to a point where it's not positive for him and not positive for the team if he can't be at 100 percent," Lamoriello said.

Kovalchuk, who finished the regular season with 37 goals and 83 points in 77 games, has recorded three goals and six points in eight postseason games for the Devils.

The Devils recalled Tim Sestito from their American Hockey League affiliate in Albany, but later confirmed that rookie defenseman Adam Larsson will be the lineup addition, making his playoff debut. Larsson will skate on defense with Anton Volchenkov, while Peter Harrold will move from defense to right wing on the fourth line alongside Ryan Carter and Stephen Gionta.

"At this point there's no impact whatsoever [on Kovalchuk's absence] as far as … you have to play with the people you have and we don't think any different," Lamoriello said. "Right now the people in our lineup are prepared to play."

For me, it's a great win for our hockey team and for a lot of people back in Columbus, especially our fans in particular … people who have been devoted to this organization, it's big.

— Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards on their win vs. the Penguins in Game 2, the franchise's first-ever Stanley Cup Playoff victory