Kovalchuk skates with Devils

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 09, 2013
Offensive catalyst Ilya Kovalchuk skated with the Devils for the first time since injuring his right shoulder more than two weeks ago and hopes to return soon to the struggling New Jersey lineup. Kovalchuk would not set a timetable for his return, but coach Peter DeBoer said the Russian star probably will play before he is fully recovered. The Devils are winless in seven games (0-3-4) since Kovalchuk was hurt crashing into the end boards against the Florida Panthers March 23. The skid has dropped them out of playoff position in the Eastern Conference with nine games left. The defending conference champions have two home games this week, facing the Boston Bruins Wednesday and the Ottawa Senators Friday. ''Condition-wise, I feel good,'' Kovalchuk told reporters in the locker room. ''That was never a problem. I just want to make sure I'm 100 percent when there is contact, and I can shoot one-timers and take the hard wrist shots. It's definitely going to take a few more days.'' Kovalchuk, who has never had a major injury in his career, did not engage in contact during the practice. ''I'd take him at less than 100 percent,'' DeBoer said. ''He has work to do before he's an option. We're not going to put his safety in jeopardy, but we're not going to wait until he's 100 percent to get him back in. That's not realistic.'' Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur said Kovalchuk's presence at practice was good to see. ''We'd love to get him back,'' Brodeur said. ''His body will tell him when he's ready to come back. He's a guy who takes a lot of ice time.'' Besides skating on the top line, Kovalchuk plays on the power play, kills penalties and is usually the first player to take the ice when the Devils are involved in a shootout. ''It's not about one guy,'' Kovalchuk said. ''We showed that the last two years. (Center) Travis (Zajac) was hurt all year last year. (Former captain) Zach (Parise) was hurt the year before that. We know how to react. It's unfortunate we haven't gotten a win, but I think we are very close.'' Kovalchuk said his daughter, Karolina, has been watching games with him while he recuperates and has offered insight. '''Hey, I think they miss you,'' he recalled her saying. '''You have to get back.''' Kovalchuk has 10 goals and 27 points in 32 games. ''We have to find a way to win with the people we've got in the dressing room, and the people I have access to,'' DeBoer said. ''We should be able to win with the way we played and some of the things we've done. We should be winning games. ''We have to find a way to put points in the bank.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Yankees close to trading Aroldis Chapman

WATCH: Dontrelle Willis' great reaction to Giancarlo Stanton home run

Reports: Sale cut up throwback uniforms with knife in protest

WNBA withdraws fines for teams that protested gun violence

Ezekiel Elliott: ‘Evil NEVER prevails’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Orioles, Padres reportedly talking trades of Melvin Upton, Cashner

Le’Veon Bell reportedly missed ‘several’ drug tests

Report: Islanders looking at locations to build new arena

Top five takeaways from this year's NBA Summer League

NCAA rules that hanging out with Drake is violation

WATCH: Justin Bieber arm wrestle Sixers center Joel Embiid

Report: Royals didn't invite Johnny Cueto to White House visit

Solo not taking any chances with Zika virus while in Rio

Rays reportedly demanding Profar in pitching deal with Rangers

Facebook doesn’t know the difference between Liverpool and Arsenal

Report: Teams asked about Wade Davis, asking price very high

Aussie Rules Football player accidentally kicks, breaks own leg

Former Arkansas football assistant trolls Bobby Petrino on social media

Could Clayton Kershaw's injury hinder trade talks?

Spurs strike a new deal with NBA stalwart Manu Ginobli

George makes return to Team USA following leg injury

Why the Clippers shouldn't break up their big three

White Sox pay homage to Bo Jackson’s bat-breaking skills with bobblehead

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

WATCH: Pop & Timmy have a guys' night out

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker