Top winger Ilya Kovalchuk is expected to miss two to four weeks with a shoulder injury, Devils general manager Lou Lamoriello told reporters Sunday afternoon. Lamoriello said the injury will not require surgery.
"It's not an operative situation," Lamoriello said, according to The Bergen Record. "It's a shoulder injury. As I said, it could be two [weeks], it could be four [weeks], it could be less, certainly not more."
The 29-year-old Kovalchuk, who is second on the team in scoring with 10 goals and 27 points, lost an edge during the third period of the Devils' 2-1 win against the Panthers on Saturday. He plowed into the end boards and left the ice, clutching his shoulder in obvious pain.
Currently in seventh place with 36 points, the Devils will continue to clamor to hold onto a playoff spot without one of their key players. Before Brodeur's return from back injury on Thursday, the Devils went 3-8-2 without their future Hall of Famer in net.
The Devils are also without winger Alexei Ponikarovsky, who was placed on injured reserve retroactive to March 19; New Jersey recalled left wing Harri Pesonen from Albany Sunday in the wake of Kovalchuk's prognosis.