Ilya Kovalchuk sure looked “fresh” in the New Jersey Devils’ 4-3 OT win in Game 3 against the Philadelphia Flyers after sitting out Game 2 with what might have been a bad back. In fact, sign me up for whatever treatment he underwent, as he scored a goal and two assists in a masterful performance.
He collected his first two points in a 20-second span and then exploited a bad Flyers line change in OT to set up Alexei Ponikarovsky’s winning play. Kovalchuk was clearly amped up to be back in the mix beyond that, too; cameras caught him furiously arguing a delay of game penalty and he also had an animated response to a near-goal when the Devils were up 3-2.
Overall, Kovalchuk received 22:09 time on ice, which might be a little low compared to what he would have seen in almost four periods of hockey. Still, he got his reps and obviously made the most of his opportunities on Thursday.
Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.
Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.
The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.
A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.
With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.
Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.
Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.
When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.
“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”
It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.
While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.