Kovalchuk Wins Back Trust of Fans, Buries OT Winner
Less than 48 hours after getting booed out of the Prudential Center at the hands of a 5-4 shootout loss against Buffalo, New Jersey Devils winger Ilya Kovalchuk certainly redeemed himself.
Kovalchuk, who lost possession on the potential shootout-tying attempt Wednesday night, drew a tripping penalty at the 2:41 mark of the overtime period against the Edmonton Oilers Friday night.
He wasn't quite ready to end his long night just yet.
Hearing mixed reactions from the Devils crowd all night, Kovalchuk one-timed a shot from an odd angle, ringing the snipe off the right post and in the net for the game-winning goal. It was clear how much that goal meant as he sprinted up the ice, swinging his arm in the air as he was mobbed by his teammates.
This team, he left the ice to a 'Kovy' chant as New Jersey skated off with their first home win this season, improving to 5-10-2, and moving out of last place in trhe Atlantic division.
Martin Brodeur returned after missing two games with a bruised elbow and tallied 21 saves on the night for the win.
New Jersey rookies Alexander Vasyunov and Mattias Tedenby netted their first career NHL goals as Jersey's Team battled from two seperate two-goal deficits at 2-0 and 3-1.
The Devils scored the last three goals of the game, to take the battle, 4-3.
Brian Rolston also scored in his first game back from a concussion, playing a major role in the Devils win.
Kovalchuk's game-winner was his fourth goal of the season. Of those four, two of them have come as overtime winners.
The Devils will now have the weekend off as they travel to Boston to take on the Bruins on Monday night.