Kovalchuk Scores in Shootout, Canadiens Rally Past Devils 5-4

NEWARK, N.J. — Ilya Kovalchuk scored the only shootout goal and the Montreal Canadiens rallied from a three-goal deficit to beat the New Jersey Devils 5-4 on Tuesday night.

Montreal’s Charlie Lindgren had 20 saves filling for an ill Carey Price, and easily handled muffed chances by Nikita Gusev, Kyle Palmieri and Jack Hughes in the shootout.

Joel Armia, Nate Thompson, Nick Cousins and Christian Folin scored in regulation for the Canadiens.

Palmieri scored two-power-play goals for New Jersey, including the game-tying tally with 20 seconds left in regulation. The late power play was the result of Montreal having too many men on the ice.

Miles Wood and Jesper Bratt also scored for the Devils. Louis Domingue had 32 saves for New Jersey, which has played in four straight overtime games since the All Star break. He had no chance the wrist shot by Kovalchuk, a former Devil.

Miles Wood #44, New Jersey Devils
Miles Wood #44, New Jersey Devils – January 20, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Folin gave the Canadiens a 4-3 lead on a shot from the right point at 9:35 of the third. Devils forward Travis Zajac tipped the shot in the right circle and it bounced into the net.

The late power play allowed Palmieri to tie it with his 19th goal.

The Devils seemed to be in total command when Bratt beat Lindgren with a flubbed shot at 6:44 of the second period for a 3-0 lead.

The Canadiens’ chances of winning dimmed even more Max Domi was penalized at 12:29, putting New Jersey on the power play.

Everything changed in the next 40 seconds.

Armia, who was stopped on a short-handed breakaway in early in the period, picked off Palmieri’s pass at centre ice and beat Domingue on a breakaway to cut the lead to 3-1.

Joel Armia Montreal Canadiens
Joel Armia, Montreal Canadiens (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Thompson narrowed the deficit to a goal less than four minutes later, making a power move from the right point and scoring his third of the season in close.

Cousins tied jt at 7:22 of the third with a shot in close off a nice setup by Brett Kulak.

Wood had give New Jersey a 1-0 lead midway through the first period with a bad-angle shot Lindgren misplayed.

Palmieri stretched the lead to 2-0 with a power-play goal at 1:51 of the second. Bratt got his 10th of the season despite almost whiffing on a shot.

The flu bug was going around. Devils D P.K. Subban, and Price and fellow Canadiens Victor Mete and Jordan Weak were all ill.


Kovalchuk and Devils Andy Greene and Zajac were all on New Jersey’s 2012 Cup finalists. … New Jersey played without C Nico Hischier and D Sami Vatanen. Hischier had stitches in his knee and Vatanan took a shot off his foot Saturday. … Bratt extended his point streak to four games with assist on Wood’s goal. … Devils F Joey Anderson and D Colton White were recalled from Binghamton (AHL) and played in their first NHL games of season.


Canadiens: Return to Montreal to host Anaheim on Thursday night.

Devils: At Philadelphia on Thursday night. New Jersey is 0-1-1 against Flyers.


More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Tom Canavan, The Associated Press