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Kovalchuk to debut for Devils against Toronto

NHL.com @NHL
The New Jersey Devils will have a new face in the lineup Friday night when they try to avenge their loss at Toronto three nights ago.

Ilya Kovalchuk, acquired from Atlanta on Thursday, is expected to be in the lineup for New Jersey when the Leafs come to the Prudential Center at 7 p.m. ET. The Devils acquired Atlanta's all-time leading scorer for defenseman Johnny Oduya, forward Niklas Bergfors, a prospect and a draft pick. They're counting on him to spice up an offense that's been flat recently -- the Devils' 3-0 loss at Toronto on Tuesday marked the fourth time in 12 games they've been shut out.

Oduya, Bergfors and the rest of the Thrashers will also be in action on a five-game Friday night schedule -- but they'll have a much tougher assignment. Atlanta will try to slow down the runaway express that is the Washington Capitals, who will be trying for their 13th consecutive victory when they host the Thrashers at the Verizon Center at 7. The Caps made it 12 wins in a row by rallying for a 6-5 victory over the Rangers in New York on Thursday.

Two other games start at 7:30 p.m. ET.

In Buffalo, the Sabres will try to rebound from losses to Pittsburgh and Ottawa earlier this week when they host Carolina. The Hurricanes are back East after losing two games in Alberta this week.

The Calgary Flames, who beat Carolina 4-1 on Wednesday, start a road trip with a rare visit to Florida. The Panthers have been off since a 3-0 home loss to Anaheim on Monday.

In the evening's final game, the Phoenix Coyotes continue their road trip with a visit to Chicago. The 'Yotes are coming off a 1-0 shootout win at Nashville, while Chicago lost 3-2 at home to St. Louis on Wednesday, Hawks' first game back after an eight-game trip.







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