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Devils 2, Flames 1 (SO): Kovalchuk Lifts Devils to Second Straight

Newark, NJ (Sports Network) – Ilya Kovalchuk netted the only goal in the shootout, lifting New Jersey to a 2-1 victory over Calgary at the Prudential Center in the teams’ only meeting of the season.

Johan Hedberg turned away 25 shots before stopping all three he faced during the shootout to notch the win for the Devils, who have taken two straight since a three-game slide. David Clarkson scored New Jersey’s only regulation goal.

Rene Bourque tallied for the Flames, who have lost three in a row and six out of their last seven contests.

Henrik Karlsson stopped 20-of-21 shots before suffering the defeat in his first career shootout.

Niklas Hagman of the Flames was denied when Hedberg stacked the pads on the first attempt in the shootout before Kovalchuk beat Karlsson with a blazing wrister high to the glove side.

“Both teams were desperate for a win,” Kovalchuk said. “I think that’s usually how these kind of games end. I think we’re playing with way more confidence. The way that Hedberg has played the last two games, it gives you the latitude to go and make plays.”

Alex Tanguay and Mattias Tedenby each couldn’t get a shot off in the next round. Hedberg then made a sliding right pad save on Brendan Morrison to win the contest.

“When you’re not winning with consistency, like right now, it’s finding ways to go against us,” the 11-year veteran Tanguay said. “We have to keep battling through it. The breaks are going to come our way sooner rather than later.”

Karlsson turned away one-time slappers by Patrik Elias, Brian Rolston and Andy Greene during a Devils’ overtime power play, and later stoned Elias from in close on a give-and-go with Jason Arnott.

After a scoreless second period, the Flames tied the game just 78 seconds into the third when Bourque tipped in a Mark Giordano shot. Including the equalizer, the teams combined to put just eight shots on net in the final 20 minutes of regulation play.

Matthew Corrente’s shot from the midpoint was blocked by Steve Staios and picked up in the slot by Tedenby, whose wrist shot was deflected past Karlsson by Clarkson. The goal was reviewed before the call on the ice was upheld.

Game Notes

The Devils did not muster more than six shots in any period…Hedberg improved to 3-1-0 in four meetings with the Flames…Calgary’s last win in New Jersey came December 7, 2005…Bourque has scored in four of his last nine games…Flames defenseman Jay Bouwmeester played in his 445th straight game, the longest active streak in the NHL.