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(Friday, January 25th)
Final Score: New Jersey 3, Washington 2 (OT)
Newark, NJ (Sports Network) - Ilya Kovalchuk's goal with 21 seconds left in overtime lifted the New Jersey Devils to a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals at Prudential Center.
Kovalchuk received a pass from Marek Zidlicky on the end line and beat Capitals goaltender Michael Neuvirth with a wrister for the win.
Zidlicky had two assists and Patrik Elias and Stephen Gionta each added a goal for the Devils, who improved to 3-0 on the lockout-shortened season.
Martin Brodeur stopped 26 of the 28 shots he faced in the victory.
"We've been finding ways to win. We've been playing decent hockey," Brodeur said. "We got into penalty trouble today that could have set us back a little bit, but we came through in overtime."
Mike Ribeiro and Mike Green each scored one goal for Washington (0-3-1), which has gone winless in its first four games.
"Obviously we want to get the win, but we waited for 57 minutes to get the tying goal, but everyone hung in there and worked hard for 60 minutes. We played a much, much better hockey game," said Capitals coach Adam Oates, a Devils assistant last year.
Gionta broke a scoreless deadlock with just over six minutes to go in the first period. Jacob Josefson sliced between two defenders through the slot and dumped the puck over to Gionta, who beat Neuvirth from the right circle to give the Devils a 1-0 lead.
Zidlicky's slap shot late in the second deflected off David Clarkson and went directly to Elias, who fired into an empty net to give New Jersey a 2-0 advantage with one minute left in the period.
Washington cashed in on a two-man advantage in the third period to make it 2-1. Joel Ward passed it across the crease to Ribeiro, who was able to beat a slow-recovering Brodeur for his first goal of the season.
Green's unassisted goal with 2:56 to play in regulation knotted the game at 2-2, and neither team could get a clean look the rest of the way to send the contest to overtime.
New Jersey was 1-for-6 on power play opportunities ... Washington went 1-for-8 on the power play ... Green also had an assist for the Caps ... Neuvirth had 32 saves in the setback.
01/25 23:53:45 ET