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Devils Alley: Ilya Kovalchuk To Miss Second Straight Game as New Jersey Faces Carolina

Devils-kovalchuk-ilya-17.nDespite fully participating in the morning skate today with the Devils, Ilya Kovalchuk is expected to miss his second straight game with a lower body injury.

Kovalchuk suffered the injury late in the third period in the Devils 4-3 shootout win against the Philadelphia Flyers last Thursday, and missed the team's 3-2 overtime win against Winnipeg on Saturday. Head coach Pete DeBoer told reporters that there would have to be a miraculous recovery for Kovy to play tonight, and it seems that although he practiced he will still not be 100 percent.

"I feel better, so maybe another couple of days and I'll be good," Kovalchuk said during practice today. "It's good that we've got a couple days before the Friday and Saturday back to back, so I'll try to be back for those games [against Washington]."

With Kovalchuk out, here are the lines that DeBoer will use tonight against the Hurricanes:

Parise - Henrique - Clarkson
Sykora - Elias - Zubrus
Tedenby - Carter - Palmieri
Pelley - Mills- Janssen

It is important to note that both Rod Pelley and Mark Fraser will be in uniform tonight for the Devils after they were placed on waivers by GM Lou Lamoriello. They went unclaimed before the noon deadline today, and both players are expected to see ice time. Fraser will play if defensemen Andy Greene, who is a game-time decision, can not play.

Martin Brodeur will start over Johan Hedberg tonight for a second straight game. He has now started three of the last four games for the Devils after missing time with a shoulder injury.

Brodeur is 35-14-5 in his career against the Hurricanes with a 2.07 GAA, but many remember his third period collapse in Game 7 of the 2009 playoffs, when he gave up two goals in a minute to lose the game.

The player to watch tonight is rookie Adam Henrique, who has been making a huge impact for the team since being moved to the first line last week. Henrique scored two goals on Saturday against the Jets, including the game winning goal in overtime. He now has six points in nine games this year and has been a great replacement for injured center Travis Zajac.

The Devils have beaten the Hurricanes in four straight meetings, and Carolina has not won in New Jersey in five straight. New Jersey is trying to extend their win streak to three games while the Hurricanes have lost two in a row.

Tonight's game will be televised on VERSUS rather then MSG+. If you plan on going to the game, the Devils are having a food drive and ask fans to bring canned goods to the arena.

Follow Joe on Twitter @jkuchie and make sure you visit MTR for other sports news and entertainment.

 

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