Ilya Kovalchuk might return to the Thrashers’ lineup as early as Tuesday night at Pittsburgh, Thrashers coach John Anderson said Monday. Jim Slater could be back for Friday’s game at Philips Arena.
Kovalchuk left Thursday’s game at Edmonton with an upper body injury and returned to Atlanta, missing Saturday’s victory at Buffalo. The team said Kovalchuk aggravated an existing injury.
Slater has two issues: The previously dislocated shoulder plus the elbow to the face he took Saturday against Buffalo.
Brett Sterling and Spencer Machacek will play tonight against Washington. On defense, Anssi Salmela makes his Philips Arena debut.