Kovalev was placed on the injured reserve list Nov. 14, and underwent knee surgery the next day to remove fluid from his right knee. He was expected to miss up to eight weeks.
Kovalev said he had been playing with pain since the start of the season.
“It was just getting worse and worse and we tried to avoid this kind of thing by doing different therapy and it looks like that just didn’t work,” he said before undergoing the procedure in Pittsburgh. “I decided I’d rather just get on with the surgery and not worry about it afterwards.”
Despite missing 10 games, Kovalev is still tied for third on the team in assists (12) with Andrei Markov, and is fourth in points (19).
He has four goals and nine assists in 15 career games against Edmonton.
Edmonton returns home trying to snap a streak of four straight one-goal decisions. The Oilers have gone 1-3-0 in their last four games with all the losses coming via overtime or shootout.
Goaltender Ty Conklin made 27 saves in his first appearance since Oct. 21. Conklin was placed on injured reserve Nov. 4 with a groin strain.
“Ty was exceptional,” Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. “He made some great saves with his glove.”
Moreau needs two assists for 100 in his career.
Edmonton has won five of the last seven meetings with Montreal.