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Kovalchuk joins Devils and readies for Cup chase @NHLdotcom

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -An excited Ilya Kovalchuk has joined the New Jersey Devils, bringing along a belief that this is his first real chance to win a Stanley Cup.

Less than 12 hours after being acquired in a blockbuster deal with the struggling Atlanta Thrashers, Kovalchuk skated with the Atlantic Conference-leading Devils in preparation for Friday night's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Devils acquired the high-scoring Russian in a five-player deal on Thursday night that should fill the team's need for a proven goal scorer.

Kovalchuk skated with Dainius Zubrus and Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner, but coach Jacques Lemaire refused to say whether the trio would play as a line against Toronto.

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