NHL: Kovalchuk finally comes through
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) – Ilya Kovalchuk scored on a power play at 3:27 of overtime – New Jersey’s slumping $100 million man’s first goal in seven games – to give the Devils their first home victory of the year, 4-3 over the Edmonton Oilers on Friday night.
Kovalchuk rebounded after losing control of the puck about 20 feet from goalie Jhonas Enroth on the final attempt in a shootout in the Devils’ 5-4 home loss to Buffalo on Wednesday night.
Mattias Tedenby and Alexander Vasyunov scored their first NHL goals, Brian Rolston also connected in regulation, and Martin Brodeur made 23 saves for the Devils. Colin Fraser scored twice, Sam Gagner added a goal, and Devan Dubnyk stopped 35 shots for Edmonton, 4-26-3 on the road since mid-December of last year.
New Jersey, 1-5-2 at home, improved to 5-10-2 overall – 28th in the 30-team league with 12 points. At 4-8-3, Edmonton is tied for last with the New York Islanders with 11 points.
Penguins 5, Lightning 1
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Embattled Marc-Andre Fleury made 15 saves in his best performance of the season to help Pittsburgh win for only the third time in nine games.
Fleury earned his 150th career win, but only the second in nine starts this season. He had started and finished only one of the previous five games, temporarily losing his starting job to backup Brent Johnson.
Pascal Dupuis, Alex Goligoski, Max Talbot, Sidney Crosby and Deryk Engelland scored for Pittsburgh, which had won only two of its first seven games at Consol Energy Center.
Steven Stamkos scored his NHL-high 15th goal for Tampa Bay. The Lightning have lost five of six.
Ducks 4, Stars 2
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Ryan Getzlaf got the go-ahead goal early in the third period, Saku Koivu scored his fifth in five games, and resurgent Anaheim extended its winning streak to six.
Bobby Ryan scored twice for the Ducks, the second into an empty net.
Jonas Hiller was back in the nets for Anaheim and stopped 26 shots – including a penalty shot by Jamie Benn midway through the third period – after watching backup Curtis McElhinney beat the New York Islanders 1-0 on Wednesday night for his first NHL shutout.
The Ducks, who got off to a 4-7-1 start before beginning this surge with an overtime win against Tampa Bay on Nov. 3, have won six straight for the first time since a six-game stretch from Feb. 12-March 3, 2008. The franchise record for consecutive wins is seven, from Feb. 20-March 7, 1999. The only current Anaheim player who was a member of the club that season was Teemu Selanne.
Brandon Segal and Brad Richards scored for the Stars.
Avalanche 5, Blue Jackets 1
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – David Jones had two goals and an assist in his return from a hand injury and two former Columbus prospects Greg Mauldin and Philippe Dupuis scored 6 minutes apart in the second period in Colorado’s victory over the Blue Jackets.
Mauldin scored his first career goal, short-handed at 10:57. Paul Stastny also scored for Colorado. Antoine Vermette scored for Columbus, coming off an 8-1 victory over St. Louis on Wednesday night.
Coyotes 5, Flames 4
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Vernon Fiddler had his first career hat trick and Phoenix held off Calgary after giving up two goals in the final 49 seconds.
Fiddler had scored two goals three times in his career before breaking through against the Flames.
Lee Stempniak and Scottie Upshall also scored to help the Coyotes win consecutive games for the first time this season. Rene Bourque, Ian White, Alex Tanguay and Tim Jackson scored for Calgary.
Panthers 2, Wild 1
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) – Chris Higgins and Mike Santorelli scored in a 53-second span in the first period, and Tomas Vokoun made 22 saves for Florida.
Cal Clutterbuck scored for Minnesota, and Jose Theodore stopped 25 shots.