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 Ducks vs. Kings Pick Can the Los Angeles Kings pick up another win over an in-state rival when they host the Anaheim Ducks tonight at 10:30PM ET?
Thumbnail Wild vs. Blackhawks Pick Do the Minnesota Wild have a great shot at upsetting the host Chicago Blackhawks...

NHL Team Pages