Ilya Kovalchuk missed the first two meetings between the Washington Capitals and New Jersey Devils. The Caps wish he missed this one, too.
Kovalchuk's goal and assist have led the Devils to a 3-0 lead over the Caps after 40 minutes.
Right before his goal, Kovalchuk had two great opportunities that Michal Neuvirth stopped, but the third time was the charm. Kovalchuk's shot from the point trickled through Neuvirth's five-hole and into the back of the net for his 11th goal of the season at 2:20.
Later, Kovalchuk started the play that gave the Devils a 2-0 lead at 4:57. Kovalchuk corralled the puck along the boards and drew two defenders, but was able to get the puck to Travis Zajac. The blown defensive assignment left Alex Ovechkin alone in the slot to defend and his sliding block attempt did not work as Zajac passed to Alexander Urbom. Urbom then took his time to pull Neuvirth out of position before firing a wrist shot into the open net for his first goal of the season.
Adam Henrique joined in on the Devils' fun at 10:08 with a tip-in goal off Matt Taormina's shot.
The Caps had some chances of their own; they hit the post three times in the second period, but only had seven shots on goal.