We’ve had some fun at Ilya Kovalchuk’s expense of late. After all, it’s low-hanging fruit to pick on a guy with a nine-figure contract who’s struggling and then proceeds to make a high-profile failure in the shootout. Sure, he’s had a rough season and so has his team, but there are moments when a player of Kovalchuk’s caliber can make you remember that, yes, he is still really good and that he can be worth what he’s paid.
Tonight, the Devils fought back to tie the game up with the equally lowly Edmonton Oilers, and in overtime the Devils made it to the power play. With the 4-on-3 set up, it became a shooting gallery for Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk and when Ilya Kovalchuk gets set up for a one-timer with space, chances are he’s not going to miss. Tonight was one of those nights where he wasn’t going to miss and his goal lifted the Devils to a 4-3 win over the Oilers in overtime.