This was Devils winger Ilya Kovalchuk at his best and worst.

He was electrifying in scoring his second goal in as many games and creating several other chances, but he also made some mistakes that proved costly, including on Minnesota's critical fourth goal with 3:36 remaining.

But Devils coach Pete DeBoer stood up for Kovalchuk.

"I thought (Kovalchuk) was very good tonight," DeBoer said after the Devils' 4-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild tonight. "You guys see the mistake that ends up in the net but, him and Zach (Parise) were the best players on the ice on either team."

In any event, Kovalchuk was minus-1 and was on the ice for three of Minnesota's four goals . He was on the ice for five of Colorado's six goals Wednesday night. All told, Kovalchuk has been on the ice for eight of the opposition's last 10 goals and is a combined minus-5.