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 Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday night.
Kovalchuk posted his first multigoal 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. Brodeur has three shutouts this season and a league record 113.
Kovalchuk gave the Devils a 1-0 lead with his sixth goal just over 5 minutes in 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 goalie Ilya Bryzgalov and made it 1-0 at 5:30 of the first period.
The Devils' lead doubled 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 5-on-3 power play, after 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.
NOTES: Veteran forward Brian Rolston cleared waivers on Wednesday and was back in the Devils' lineup. Rolston nearly scored in the closing minutes, but Bryzgalov kicked aside his hard backhander. ... Phoenix had won seven of 10 on the road. The Coyotes started a six-game trip that will last 11 days.