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Kovalchuk back to face Rangers

Coach John MacLean: 'It's over, the issue is over.'

Sunday, 10.24.2010 / 5:40 PM / News
By Eric Marin
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Kovalchuk back to face Rangers
Kovalchuk back in the lineup.
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The case has been closed on Ilya Kovalchuk being a healthy scratch, and both player and coach say it’s time to turn the page.

Kovalchuk, who did not dress for yesterday's 6-1 loss to visiting Buffalo, will play in tonight’s contest at Madison Square Garden.

“It’s over, the issue is over,” head coach John MacLean said. “As I talked about yesterday, it’s an internal matter. Today we’re getting ready for the Rangers game.”

Kovalchuk spoke before the game on MacLean’s move. He found out about it after yesterday's morning skate.

“It was his decision to give me a little rest, and that’s about it,” Kovalchuk stated.

When asked if he needed a rest, Kovalchuk said, “That was his decision and it’s going to stay between me and him. I’m just a player and I’m going to show up tonight and play.”

Kovalchuk didn’t say whether he agreed with the move.

“I’ll have to play, but it’s his decision, and I’ve got no comments on that,” he stated.

MacLean met with Kovalchuk this morning before deciding on his status.

“We talked,” said the coach.

With five points (2g-3a), Kovalchuk is tied with Jason Arnott for the team scoring lead, and his offensive talents were missed in the loss. The Sabres built a 5-0 lead before Zach Parise put the Devils on the board in the third period. New Jersey is still seeking its first home win (0-4-1).

It was tough for Kovalchuk to watch his teammates play without him.

“I love the game so much, and that’s probably the worst when you watch your team, especially losing,” he said. “Hopefully we’re going to bounce tonight and be much better.”

He added: “I want to be on the ice, that’s the bottom line. I’m going to be tonight. I’m excited to be back and be with the team.”

DEVILS NOTES
Alexander Vasyunov, who made his NHL debut Saturday, has been assigned to Albany (AHL). He was recalled to play in Kovalchuk’s absence. … Kovalchuk couldn't remember the last time he was a healthy scratch. "Long time ago, but it's happened before so it wasn't new for me," he said.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
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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