NEWS

Kovalchuk eager for playoff chance

Sunday, 04.11.2010 / 10:50 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Kovalchuk eager for playoff chance
After seven full NHL seasons, Ilya Kovalchuk is still looking for a taste of playoff success. He hopes to achieve that as a Devil.

Kovalchuk was acquired by New Jersey in a trade on Feb. 4 with Atlanta, which missed the postseason six times while he was there. The Thrashers finally made it to the playoffs in 2007, but were swept by the Rangers in the first round. He had a goal and an assist in the series.

In his eighth season, Kovalchuk, the first overall pick in 2001, is going back to the playoffs as a two-seed.

“It feels good,” he said after Sunday’s 2-1 win over Buffalo. “But we need to get a good start in the playoffs. We have to prepare ourselves.”

He’s admittedly pumped up.

“[I’m] very excited,” he said. “That’s a great opportunity for me.”

Unlike some of his Devil teammates, Kovalchuk did not watch the Flyers-Rangers shootout that locked Philadelphia into the seventh seed. Brian Boucher stopped Olli Jokinen to seal a 2-1 shootout win.

“I knew they won when they showed it on the [scoreboard],” he said. “But to us, it doesn’t matter. I know some people think they beat us the last three times, but it’s regular season and the playoffs is totally different.”

To Kovalchuk, the series should come down to the Devils executing their game plan, regardless of opponent.

“I don’t really care who we play against, we just have to play our game,” he said. “If we play solid, I don’t think a lot of teams can beat us.”

Kovalchuk finished 2009-10 with 41 goals and 44 assists for 85 points. He collected 10 goals and 17 assists in 27 games as a Devil.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 75 16 27 -6 43
M. Cammalleri 68 27 15 2 42
P. Elias 69 13 21 -20 34
S. Gomez 58 7 27 -10 34
S. Bernier 67 16 16 2 32
T. Zajac 74 11 14 -3 25
A. Larsson 64 3 21 2 24
A. Greene 82 3 19 1 22
E. Gelinas 61 6 13 -2 19
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 31 9 .925 2.26
K. Kinkaid 6 5 4 .915 2.59