The New Jersey Devils face the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 2 of a Eastern Conference semifinals Tuesday, and they'll need to try and even the best-of-seven series without their best player, Ilya Kovalchuck, who's out with a lower-body injury. Tim Sestito is expected to be Kovalchuck's replacement.
Kovalchuk suffered what is believed to be a leg muscle injury, or possibly a groin-related problem, and is not with the team. He was examined by a doctor Monday.
On Sunday, Kovalchuck played in the Devils' 4-3 overtime loss, however, he has been battling the injury since the middle of the first-round against the Florida Panthers, which was confirmed by Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello.
"He's had this since the middle of the first series," the GM said. "Progressively I think it's to a point where it's not positive for him and it's not positive for the team if he can't be at 100 percent.
"He's an intelligent individual. He understands where he's at, but it's day to day and that's how it is going to be approached. There is going to be no discussion about it. We're not going to have any distractions here."
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