The day after returning from a back injury and leading the Devils to a 4-3 OT victory over the Flyers, Ilya Kovalchuk says he’s “feeling good” and looking forward to “a couple days rest” before Game 4 on Sunday.
New Jersey coach Peter DeBoer is also feeling good about Kovalchuk’s improved health, according to the Star-Ledger.
“I think we’re past [his back problems]. That’s my belief,” DeBoer said. “You never know. My belief is he got it taken care of and he had the appropriate rest and he’s good to go. It was the first time for in probably two or two-and-a-half weeks where I really saw his jump back in his legs. It was good to see.”
Kovalchuk scored once and added two assists yesterday at the Prudential Center, helping the Devils to a 2-1 series lead with the opportunity to go up 3-1 at home in Game 4.
On the eve of their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres got another bit of bad health news.
Captain Brian Gionta missed practice and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per head coach Dan Bylsma. The ailment puts the 36-year-old’s availability for Thursday’s game against Ottawa in jeopardy.
The ailment also puts Gionta alongside a slew of hurting Sabres. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges were on the injured list when Buffalo’ roster was released this morning, along with rookie Brendan Guhle and veteran Cody McCormick.
There is a bright light for Buffalo, however.
Gorges skated on Wednesday and could possibly dress tomorrow, per Bylsma. If he does play, it’ll likely be on a pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen.
As was the case last season, Scott Gomez accepted a professional tryout offer because he went unsigned over the summer and once again he has used that opportunity to extend his career.
The St. Louis Blues announced that they have signed Gomez to a one-year contract. They didn’t disclose the financial terms, but it’s a two-way deal that comes with a base salary of $575K at the NHL level, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford.
In order to free up the space necessary to sign him, St. Louis moved Patrik Berglund to the long-term injured reserve list. Berglund had shoulder surgery in August and isn’t expected to be available until January.
Gomez, 35, is coming off of a resurgence campaign where he recorded 34 points in 58 games on a Devils’ team that finished near the bottom of the pack offensively. The two-time Stanley Cup champion will be bringing more than a 1,000 games worth of NHL experience to St. Louis.
He’s not the only veteran forward to make the team off of a PTO as the Blues signed Scottie Upshall on Monday.