Lou Lamoriello told the media in Newark on Monday that Kovalchuk was having an MRI today, and that X-rays were negative. The 29-year-old Russian winger will not need surgery after a bizarre play where Kovalchuk lost an edge behind the Florida net and went violently into the boards. He skated off on his own power, but was hunched over and clearly favoring the right shoulder.
The Devils have recalled left winger Harri Pesonen from Albany (AHL) to replace Kovalchuk on the roster. Kovalchuk's injury adds to what is already a banged-up New Jersey roster. Though they just recently got star goaltender Martin Brodeur back, center Dainius Zubrus remains out for at least another week, while Alexei Ponikarovsky will also miss the Devils' next game, which is Monday night in Ottawa.
Kovalchuk has 10 goals and 27 points in 32 games this season, second to Patrik Elias on the Devils in points. Kovalchuk leads the league in shorthanded goals with four. He also led all forwards in the NHL in time on ice, playing over 25 minutes per game. New Jersey currently sits seventh in the Eastern Conference standings with 36 points, after reaching the Stanley Cup Final with Kovalchuk last season.