Associated Press 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.
• 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.
"We're a team that if we don't play all out, all the time, we're not going to be successful. Tonight was a perfect example. We had far too many guys that were taking the easy way out instead of the hard way in. And when we do that it's going to be hard to win games."
"We didn't have the energy and the desperation that they had and they made us look bad."
"We didn’t give them much and we made them turn the puck over... Marty (Brodeur), he made great saves in the second and third, and he was solid. You could tell he felt comfortable and he gave us a lot of confidence."
• Dec. 15, 2010: NJD 3, PHX 0
1 - 0 NJD