The bad news out of Boston was Ilya Kovalchuk was sidelined for the fifth consecutive game. The good news is that he’s likely to lace ‘em up tomorrow night in Buffalo. Sometimes, it’s all about the little things in life.
There was some optimism around the team that Kovalchuk could have appeared in tonight’s game against the Bruins. He took the ice in today’s morning skate and participated in warm-ups immediately before the game. But when a decision was finally made, Kovalchuk was directed to the press box instead of the visitors’ bench.
To keep with the positive theme, nothing happened during the warm-ups that would be considered a setback. “It was the coach’s decision,” Kovalchuk told Rich Chere from the Star-Ledger. “It’s always the coach’s decision. But I’m pretty sure I’ll play tomorrow.”
Even though he’s not on the ice, Devils fans have to be happen that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. New Jersey is 3-1 since Kovalchuk has been sidelined with is lower-body injury, but getting an elite sniper back into the lineup is always a welcomed addition.
Then again, if they can continue to win without him, the organization can continue to take their time with their $100 million man.
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With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
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“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day
The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.