Sports Network | March 4, 2011
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Ilya Kovalchuk's power-play goal with 25 seconds left in overtime lifted New Jersey over Pittsburgh, 2-1, at Prudential Center.
The game-winner was made possible when Pittsburgh defenseman Zbynek Michalek was called for a questionable hook at 2:46 of the extra session.
Patrik Elias missed his initial chance from the right side, but gathered the puck, skated behind the Penguins net and dished back for Kovalchuk, whose laser-like one-timer hit the back of the net from the left circle.
"We worked hard. I don't think tonight was our best effort. We didn't have that jump in our legs, but we still found a way to win," said Kovalchuk.
Travis Zajac also tallied for the Devils, who have taken 11 of their last 12 games to keep themselves alive for a playoff berth. Martin Brodeur made 25 stops for the win.
"Clutch players are coming through and it's definitely nice to see," said Brodeur.
Tyler Kennedy notched the lone score for the Penguins, who dropped their sixth game in seven. Brent Johnson was the hard-luck loser with 28 saves.
"It's tough (to lose) because it was back-and-forth. Both teams played well offensively and defensively and it's tough not to come out on top," said Johnson.
Zajac put the Devils ahead at 3:43 of the second period, when he carried past two defenders and slipped a backhander home from the left side.
Kennedy evened things at 5:58 on a high wrister from the right circle, and both sides endured close calls throughout the remainder of regulation.
New Jersey has won two in a row over Pittsburgh and eight of the last 10 matchups...The Penguins played without forward Chris Kunitz...Pens defenseman Kris Letang was given a game misconduct in the first period for not having his jersey tied down during a fight with Zajac...Kovalchuk has eight goals and six assists during New Jersey's current run.