Knee injury sidelines Kovalchuk

Jan. 31, 2008 at 5:09 PM

ATLANTA, Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Atlanta Thrashers forward Ilya Kolvalchuk is expected to miss at least two games because of a right knee injury.

Kolvalchuck was hurt late in the first period Wednesday when he scored his 38th goal this season in the Thrashers' 4-1 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

He left the contest and did not return.

"He's a lot better today," Coach and General Manager Don Waddell told the Atlanta Journal Constitution Thursday.

Waddell added that Kovalchuk's absence in games Friday against the Buffalo Sabres at home and Saturday at Washington is more of a precautionary measure.

His goal total is second to Washington left wing Alexander Ovechkin.

In 38 games, Kovalchuk also has 26 assists, making him the NHL's fourth-leading scorer with 64 points behind Ottawa's Daniel Alfredsson (68), Tampa Bay's Vincent Lecavalier (67) and Ovechkin (65).

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