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Kovalchuk's go-ahead goal gives New Jersey its first win

Oct 10, 2011 - 10:21 PM
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Ilya Kovalchuk scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period and the New Jersey Devils picked up their first win of the season Monday afternoon, beating the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2.

Kovalchuk scored on a second-chance shot and Zach Parise got his second goal of the game on an empty-netter later in the period, as the Devils earned their first victory under new head coach Peter DeBoer.

Johan Hedberg got the win, making 24 saves, after Martin Brodeur took the loss in a 3-0 defeat to Philadelphia in Saturday's season-opener.

Mark Fayne also scored for New Jersey to buffer a frenetic burst in the second period when the Hurricanes tied the game twice in the span of four minutes on goals by Alexei Ponikarovsky and Chad LaRose.

Cam Ward allowed three goals on 25 shots for Carolina, which fell to 0-2-1 on the season.

"We worked hard," said Hurricanes head coach Paul Maurice. "We're not going to start coaching mistakes because there are too many good things going."

The Devils took a 1-0 lead just 3:59 into the game when Parise, stationed on the right side of the net, tipped in Patrik Elias' shot from the high slot.

"I thought we came out and dictated early in the game how we wanted to play," said DeBoer.

Almost as soon as Carolina tied the game in the second period, New Jersey restored its lead, only to give a goal right back in a quick burst of offense.

Ponikarovsky beat Hedberg with a re-directed shot in the slot at 8:56, making it 1-1, but Fayne scored on a seeing-eye wrister from the right circle just 40 seconds later, slipping the puck in between Ward's stick and right pad.

Just 3:11 after that, LaRose tied the game at 2-2 for Carolina with a snap shot through two defenders on the right side that Hedberg appeared not to see.

Kovalchuk's goal, at 6:06 of the third period, came after his first try was stopped by Ward's left pad and he was able to jam the rebound in.

Game Notes

The Devils have won five of six and eight of the last 10 meetings with Carolina...The Hurricanes lost to Tampa Bay on Friday and fell in overtime to Washington on Saturday.