General Manager Bob Gainey said Tuesday he met with Kovalev to tell him he won't be on the team's trip this week for games Wednesday night in Washington and Thursday night in Pittsburgh.
His status for a home game Saturday against Ottawa remains uncertain.
Gainey said Kovalev is not suspended and will still be paid. He said the right-winger appears to be tired and has not been playing well of late.
Kovalev was MVP at the All Star game weeks ago and since has floundered. Is he on the trading block, or does he have personal issues?
Sergei Kostitsyn has been sent down to Hamilton today. It's quite a Russian-themed slump in Montreal lately.