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Kovalchuk back in Devils lineup after benching

NHL.com @NHL

NEW YORK (AP) - Ilya Kovalchuk is back in the New Jersey Devils' lineup, one night after he was benched by coach John MacLean for an undisclosed reason.

The $100 million forward, in the first year of a 15-year deal with the Devils, met with the media on Sunday night before New Jersey faced the New York Rangers. Kovalchuk provided no information for why he was forced to sit out for Saturday's home game against Buffalo.

Kovalchuk says it was MacLean's decision and the rest would stay between him and his coach.

The Devils were beaten 6-1 by the Sabres and dropped to 2-5-1.

New Jersey sent forward Alexander Vasyunov back to Albany of the AHL. Vasyunov was recalled from Albany on Saturday.

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