NEWARK, N.J. –
Ilya Kovalchuk broke out of a drought with two goals, and Martin Brodeur made 29 saves as the New Jersey Devils snapped a five-game losing streak with a 3-0 victory over the Coyotes (14-10-6) on Wednesday night at the Prudential Center.
Kovalchuk posted his first multi-goal game of the season and rookie defenseman Mark Fayne scored his first in the NHL to give New Jersey (9-19-2) its first win in December.
Kovalchuk gave the Devils a 1-0 lead with his sixth goal just over 5 minutes into the game and added a power-play tally in the third period. Fayne, who has played in 10 NHL games, gave New Jersey its first two-goal lead in nine contests.
The Devils, who hadn't won since Nov. 27 against Philadelphia, grabbed control early. Kovalchuk took a pass in front from Dainius Zubrus and fired a shot while sliding on one knee that went past Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov
to make the score 1-0 at 5:30 of the first period.
New Jersey (9-19-2) doubled its lead at 13:18 when Fayne secured the puck just inside the blue line and flicked in a shot. The goal was initially credited to Devils captain Jamie Langenbrunner but was changed at the start of the second period.
Kovalchuk then capped the best night of his frustrating season with a goal, just seconds into New Jersey's five-on-three power play in the third period, after Coyotes defenseman Sami Lepisto
went off for hooking. Kovalchuk, in the first season of a 15-year, $100 million contract, was at the point of the power play. He gave the puck to Patrik Elias and then got it back before firing a wrist shot past Bryzgalov, who made 26 saves.
Trailing 2-0 and looking to shift momentum, Coyotes forward Taylor Pyatt
rushed Devils goalie up the left wing and slapped a clean shot on goal 2:47 into the second period.
Brodeur blocked Pyatt's shot with his left pad to preserve what would later become the 113th shutout of his NHL career - a league record.
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• Centers Vernon Fiddler
and Martin Hanzal
combined to win 16 of 23 faceoffs. Fiddler won eight of 11 draws and Hanzal won eight of 12.
• Phoenix dropped to 1-4-4 vs. teams from the Eastern Conference this season.
• The defeat was the first for the Coyotes this season on a Wednesday. Phoenix entered the matchup 4-0-0 in Wednesday games.
• The Coyotes scratched Paul Bissonnette
, David Schlemko
and Nolan Yonkman
. All three players are healthy.
• The Coyotes' next game is on Thursday vs. the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. The puck drops at 5 p.m. (Arizona time). The game can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona and can be heard on XTRA Sports 910 (AM).
• The Coyotes are staging a Bud Light Viewing Party on Thursday at Catch 22 Sports Grill in Phoenix. Click here
for more information.