"All I can say is that it's a good way to start 2010," Kovalev told reporters. "Hopefully, that's the way it's going to go for me the rest of the season."
The Senators forward scored twice in a four-goal Ottawa first period, then two more in the third, when the hosts scored three times to break a 4-4 tie.
His fourth goal, his 11th of the season, came with 7:02 to play.
Kovalev had not scored a goal since he completed a hat-trick against the Carolina Hurricanes on December 12.
He now has 12 career hat-tricks.
Team mate Chris Kelly added two goals and an assist.
(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Salvo, North Carolina; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)