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Devils Star Kovalchuk Avoids Shoulder Surgery, Will Miss 2-4 Weeks

Ilya Kovalchuk (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Ilya Kovalchuk (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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NEWARK (CBSNewYork) - The New Jersey Devils were able to defeat the Florida Panthers on Saturday, but it came with a cost. Superstar winger Ilya Kovalcuk left the game after slamming his right shoulder into the boards during the third period of the Devils’ 2-1 victory at Prudential Center.

Devils General Manager Lou Lamoriello announced Sunday that Kovalchuk will miss 2-4 weeks because of the injury. Lamoriello also revealed that the injury will not require surgery. An x-ray came back negative and Kovalchuk underwent an MRI on Sunday.

Devils head coach Pete DeBoer spoke to the media before knowing the timetable for Kovalchuk’s return.

“He’s obviously, probably going to be out for at least a short time, so we’ll have to fill that hole,” DeBoer said on Saturday.

Through 32 games, in the shortened 2013 season, Kovalchuk has 10 goals and 17 assists

In addition, forward Alexei Ponikarovsky was placed on the injury reserve retroactive to March 19.  Harri Pesonen was called up from Albany of the AHL and will take Ponikarovsky’s place on the roster.  The Devils are currently in 7th place in the Eastern Conference standings.

Will the Devils keep themselves in a playoff spot while Kovalchuk is out?  Share your thoughts below…