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Playoff stage awaits Ilya Kovalchuk

Updated: April 7, 2010, 12:16 AM ET
By Scott Burnside | ESPN.com

ATLANTA -- Atlanta Thrashers GM Don Waddell was standing in a hallway outside the Thrashers' dressing room at Philips Arena on Tuesday morning next to a big framed picture of former star Ilya Kovalchuk pumping his fist in celebration.

Waddell, of course, was talking about Kovalchuk's first return to Philips Arena since being traded to the New Jersey Devils on Feb. 4.

This was more than a homecoming, though, as Kovalchuk and the Devils had a chance to put the final ...

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