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Kovalchuk eager for playoff chance

Sunday, 04.11.2010 / 10:50 PM / 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 - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Jagr 82 24 43 16 67
P. Elias 65 18 35 -4 53
T. Zajac 80 18 30 3 48
A. Henrique 77 25 18 3 43
M. Zidlicky 81 12 30 -3 42
M. Ryder 82 18 16 -6 34
A. Greene 82 8 24 3 32
E. Gelinas 60 7 22 -3 29
D. Zubrus 82 13 13 1 26
R. Clowe 43 7 19 -10 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 16 15 12 .921 1.97
M. Brodeur 19 14 6 .901 2.51