The Devils will have to wait at least one more game for Ilya Kovalchuk's return.
Head coach Peter DeBoer confirmed after Wednesday's practice that Kovalchuk will not travel to Philadelphia for Thursday's game against the Flyers.
"The plan originally was for him to travel and us to look at it in the morning," DeBoer said. "But he's not close enough to be a consideration, so we're going to leave him back."
Kovalchuk, who practiced on a line with Dainius Zubrus
and Adam Henrique
, said he wants to "be in condition to help the team, not just be there."
Said DeBoer: "We're not going to put him in a spot where he can do more damage or he's not comfortable."
The Devils (15-17-10, 40 pts.) are winless in 10 games since Kovalchuk's injury (0-6-4) and sit six points behind the eighth-place Rangers.
"I know it's a long shot, but we feel if we win every game there's a slight possibility we still get in," Martin Brodeur said.
After Thursday, the Devils will have five games remaining, including two at Madison Square Garden. They host the Panthers on Saturday for a 1 p.m. matinee at the Rock.
DeBoer has no plans to shut Kovalchuk down for the season.
"I'm taking this day to day, literally," he said. "I'm not looking beyond: he's not ready for Philly, let's look at Florida."
• The Devils recalled defenseman Alexander Urbom from Albany (AHL) under emergency conditions to fill out their blue line. Bryce Salvador (wrist) remains sidelined, and Anton Volchenkov still has two games remaining on his four-game suspension.
Urbom, 22, has eight assists in 68 games this season with Albany. He has two goals in 13 NHL games, and was last recalled for five games from December 10-26, 2011.
"We've got some guys banged up," DeBoer said. "Obviously with Volchie out and Salvador out, we've got some minor bumps and bruises. We need a body around here."