Philly Phaithful
Better With Popcorn

Kovalchuk: 'I feel really good,' Poised for Return in Game 3

After sitting out Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals due to injury, New Jersey Devils superstar forward, Ilya Kovalchuk will be a game time decision for Thursday night’s Game 3 against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Per Tom Gulitti of blog Fire & Ice, Kovalchuk was quoted as saying that he feels good and is ready to go, but whether he plays will be up to Devils head coach, Peter DeBoer.



Kovalchuk admitted that he sustained the injury in the first two games of the team’s first round series against the Florida Panthers. He would not allude to when or where other than saying it was a lower body injury.

In Game 1 of the Semifinals, Kovalchuk played poorly and it was largely assumed that it was due to injury. Following the game, the Devils announced that Kovalchuk was going to stay in New Jersey to receive treatment and later stated that he was unavailable for Game 2.

If it’s up to Kovalchuk, it sounds as though he will be playing in Game 3.

"I feel really good," he said to reporters on Thursday. "Why wait if I feel good? But like I said, it's the coach's decision."

Apparently, not.



Per reports, DeBoer said the decision is up to Kovalchuk.

"It’s him knowing what we need out of him and whether he feels his body is capable of giving us that," DeBoer said to reporters. "If he's in, he's full in."

Deboer speculated that sitting defenseman Peter Harrold may be an option if Kovalchuk did return Thursday night. During morning skate, he was reportedly skating on the fourth line with Stephen Gionta and Ryan Carter.

Kovalchuk recorded an assist in the Devils Game 1 loss. The series is tied at 1-1.



Follow me on Twitter (@mattbrigidi) and make sure to "like" The Checking Line-Flyers Edition on Facebook to stay up to the minute with all the latest team news and notes.

Feel free to shoot me an email: