Devils winger Ilya Kovalchuk and Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov have now battled on two different continents this season.
During the NHL lockout, Kovalchuk skated for SKA St. Petersburg while Bryzgalov played for CSKA Moscow in the KHL.
"I had a hat trick against him, actually, but he beat us the last game I played against him," Kovalchuk said tonight after getting the best of Bryzgalov on a second period penalty shot during the Devils' 3-0 victory over the Flyers.
The Devils were short-handed when Kovalchuk took a pass from Travis Zajac for a breakaway. Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen hooked Kovalchuk before he could get a shot on goal.
"He put his stick somewhere in my hands," Kovalchuk said. "My job is to play and (the official's) job is to referee. He saw a penalty shot there and I'll take it."
He did not waste his chance.
"I knew what I was going to do," he said.
No one else did.
"You don't see him go backhand too much," Zajac said. He caught me by surprise."
It was the crushing blow for the 0-3 Flyers.
The Devils, meanwhile, are 2-0.
"We played well. This wasn't one of our best. I thought we played better at Long Island," goalie Martin Brodeur said. "We made some mistakes and took more penalties than maybe we should have, but our special teams were pretty good. It was a big win. We're not going to be perfect all the time."
David Clarkson said: "We're not going to get ahead of ourselves. We're two games in. We're happy with the last two games. We have to continue that confidence and continue it in the next game."
Ilya Kovalchuk-Ilya Bryzgalov rivalry started this season in Russia
Newark Star-Ledger | Jan 23