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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 - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Palmieri 82 30 27 3 57
A. Henrique 80 30 20 10 50
T. Zajac 74 14 28 3 42
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
D. Severson 72 1 20 -8 21
R. Boucher 39 8 11 -13 19
D. Schlemko 67 6 13 -22 19
J. Moore 73 4 15 -12 19
A. Larsson 82 3 15 15 18
J. Blandisi 41 5 12 -14 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 27 25 6 .924 2.15
K. Kinkaid 9 9 1 .904 2.81
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