NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Offensive catalyst Ilya Kovalchuk is returning to the New Jersey Devils' lineup for Saturday's game against the Florida Panthers.
Kovalchuk discussed his return before the opening faceoff of a game that could knock the Devils out of the playoff race.
If the Devils lose in regulation, they will be eliminated from the postseason just a year after playing in the Stanley Cup Finals.
Kovalchuk injured his right shoulder during a game against the Panthers on Mar. 23 and missed the last 11 games. The Devils' playoffs hopes took a major hit while he was out. They went 1-6-4, with the only win coming on Thursday night against Philadelphia.
Scoring was a factor in the slump. The team had 19 goals in 11 games.

Top NHL Public Bets

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Leafs vs. Capitals Game 6 Pick Will the Washington Capitals put the Toronto Maple Leafs away for good when the two meet in Game 6 today at...
Thumbnail Senators vs. Bruins Game 6 Pick Can the Boston Bruins force a Game 7 with the Ottawa Senators when the two meet today for Game 6 at 3PM ET?
Thumbnail Oilers vs. Sharks Game 6 Pick Will the San Jose Sharks force a Game 7 when they meet the Edmonton Oilers tonight at 10:30PM ET in Game 6?
Thumbnail Canadiens vs. Rangers Game 6 Pick Will the New York Rangers close out their series with the Montreal Canadiens when the two meet in Game 6...
Thumbnail Blues vs. Wild Game 5 Pick Will the Minnesota Wild be able to keep their season alive today at 3PM ET when they host the St. Louis Blues for Game...

NHL Team Pages