NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 10: Ilya Kovalchuk #17 of the New Jersey Devils celebrates his third period goal against the New York Islanders at the Prudential Center on April 10, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Ilya Kovalchuk has looked like he was injured for the past four or five games, and it was confirmed this morning. The New Jersey Devils sniper will not play in tonight's crucial Game 2 of the Eastern Conference semifinal at Philadelphia.
The odds moved slightly in favor of the Flyers on the news, and analysts expect more money to flow in on Philly.
"The Flyers opened as -150 chalk but it was bet down this morning," said Mike Pickett of OddsShark.com. "Now it's heading in the other direction again, and it could climb considerably before puck drop."
The Flyers won 4-3 in OT in Game 1 and got stronger as the game wore on. New Jersey needs all the firepower it can muster, and this is not good news for its hopes in the series.
The report from Devils management indicated Kovalchuk is questionable for Thursday's Game 3 as well.
The Devils have lost 10 of their past 13 road games against the Flyers, according to the OddsShark.com NHL database.
Betting climbed over 70 percent in favor of the Flyers by early afternoon, according to the NHL consensus data. And more than 70 percent of over/under bettors were on the OVER as the Flyers are now 6-1 in these playoffs favoring the OVER.