Ilya Kovalchuk didn't look like Ilya Kovalchuk in Game 1 against the Philadelphia Flyers. It was obvious something was nagging him and it showed on the stat sheet with zero shots and his lowest ice time since the end of March.
After a video session Monday, Kovalchuk wasn't available to the media and was said to have gone to "therapy." And when Tim Sestito stepped on the ice at Wells Fargo Center Tuesday morning for the Devils' skate, eyebrows were raised even further.
Then it was confirmed by GM Lou Lamoriello: Kovalchuk will not play in Game 2 Tuesday night.
Lamoriello said that Kovalchuk remained in New Jersey and is "day to day". Lamoriello confirmed that Kovalchuk had been trying to play through the injury since the middle of the team's first-round series against Florida.
The team said Kovalchuk went Monday for "therapy" on his injury, which is believed to be to his lower back.
With an ailing star, New Jersey came back on Philadelphia twice before falling in overtime. Despite the loss of one of their offensive weapons, Travis Zajac and Zach Parise have provided support, while Adam Henrique has provided the dramatics.
Are the Devils "toast" without Kovalchuk as our resident fan Wysh put it Monday?
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy
Other popular content on Yahoo! Sports:
• Prolific QBs headline the 2012 Yahoo! Sports All-Undrafted Team
• Tim Brown: Albert Pujols says Angels are close to breaking out of their offensive funk
• Marc J. Spears: Amar'e Stoudemire hurts himself and Knicks with punch through glass