Ilya Kovalchuk scored his first goal since his return from the injury list on Thursday night, breaking a 2-2 tie with 6:10 remaining and giving the New Jersey Devils a come-from-behind 3-2 home victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Devils (19-18-10) won the season series with the Pens 2-games-to-one.
Until the late stages of the second period, Pittsburgh (35-12) held a 2-o advantage behind goals by Matt Cooke and Jussi Jokinen. New Jersey’s Traviz Zajac found the net with 1:27 left in the second frame, and David Clarkson tied the game with 16:59 remaining.
Former Penguins goaltender Johan Hedberg (6-9-3) earned the win at the Devils’ net with saves on 16 of 18 shots. Marc-Andre Fleury (22-8) made 29 saves on 32 New Jersey shots, but took the loss for the second straight game.
The Penguins will close their regular season schedule on Saturday night at 7:30 PM with a home game against the Carolina Hurricanes (19-24-4). Radio pregame time on 96.3 KQW will be 7:00 PM.
The general belief in Pittsburgh is that the Penguins will open at home in the first round of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs on Wednesday, May 1. Their opponent will be either the New York Rangers, the New York Islanders or the Ottawa Senators.