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: Kings engaging in trade talks for Cousins

Report: Romo willing to rework contract to facilitate trade

Lonzo Ball's father says son is better than Curry right now

Report: Rams could have interest in Cousins if Goff flops

Report: Butler to Celtics talk will loom over All-Star week

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Carmelo expects to remain with Knicks

James Harden: ‘For sure’ I’m the best player in the world

Report: Pats expected to make good effort to keep Bennett

Glenn Robinson III dunks over three people to win Slam Dunk Contest

Kevin Durant booed at All-Star introductions in New Orleans

Charles Oakley joins Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 league

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Best of Yardbarker: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Eat, Drink, Watch: Everything goes better with a side of New Orleans

Box Score 2/17: Happy birthday, Michael Jordan (and welcome to 1000 point club, Sid!)

The 'Michael Jordan might still win the Dunk contest if he entered' quiz

How to reboot NBA All-Star Weekend

Second-year NBA stars who can salvage the season

Observations from a day at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Box Score 2/16: Getting ready for the ASG

Too much to Process: Can Simmons match the Embiid hype?

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

Best of YB: NBA All-Star Games past, present and future

Who will break these NBA All-Star Game records?

Is the NBA All-Star Game worth saving?

There will never be another Dirk Nowitzki

The Rewind: Michael Jordan's last All-Star Game

Eat, Drink, Watch: Everything goes better with a side of New Orleans

How to reboot NBA All-Star Weekend

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Second-year NBA stars who can salvage the season

Observations from a day at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

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