Mere days after he was chastised for his failed shootout attempt on Wednesday night against the Sabres, star forward Ilya Kovalchuk silenced some of his critics and gave all Devils fans what they were looking for: a victory, and the first of the season at the Prudential Center. After Kovalchuk drew a tripping penalty on Oilers forward Dustin Penner in overtime, Henrik Tallinder set him up with a nice one-touch pass, and Kovalchuk fired a laser off the far post and past Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk for the game winner.
This is the type of result that most Devils fans expected when Kovalchuk signed his massive $100 million contract at the beginning of the season. Hopefully this confidence booster will get Kovalchuk, and the Devils in general, back on track. Kovalchuk is a force to be reckoned with on the power play, almost always staying out for the duration of the extra man advantage. However, the Devils power play has struggled so far this season, ranking 23rd in the league in power play percentage. The return of Brian Rolston should help the Devils power play, and utilizing his cannon of a shot in unison with Kovalchuk should play to the Devils advantage. Rolston scored the Devils second goal last night in his return to the lineup from surgery to correct a sports hernia.
Last night’s win over the Oilers saw two of the Devils youngsters notch their first career NHL goals. Alexander Vasyunov opened the scoring for the Devils, and Mattias Tedenby’s power play goal tied the game at three off a beautiful deflection of a point shot from Andy Greene. Both goals were equally important as Vasyunov’s goal kept the Devils in the game after Colin Fraser scored twice for Edmonton in the first period. Tedenby tied the game with his goal just after the halfway point of the third period. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come from the Devils youth.
The Devils showed a lot of grit to battle back from two deficits and come away with the victory last night. The Devils will look to build on this win as they head up to Boston to face the Bruins on Monday night. In the first meeting between these two teams, the Bruins came into the Prudential Center and dealt the Devils a 4-1 loss. Tim Thomas was stellar in net for the B’s, and chances are he will be between the pipes for the Bruins on Monday night. Here’s hoping that Ilya and the boys in red can exact a little revenge this time around.
About the Author
Written by Matt Pellicane
I am currently pursuing a master's degree in Journalism from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. I graduated from Quinnipiac in May 2010 with a bachelor's degree in print journalism. While at Quinnipiac, I covered various sporting events on campus for the online newspaper The Quad News. I was born and raised in Bridgewater, New Jersey and have been an avid sports fan all of my life. I am a fan of the New Jersey Devils, New York Giants, New York Yankees, and the Boston Celtics.