Jacques Lemaire's 600th win didn't come without some drama.
Ilya Kovalchuk scored with 24 seconds left in overtime to help the New Jersey Devils (21-30-4) defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs (23-26-7), 2-1, tonight at the Air Canada Centre.
Kovalchuk's goal came as the Maple Leafs kept him in check throughout regulation. After taking a pass in his own zone from Anssi Salmela, Kovalchuk skated the puck into Toronto's zone. After gaining the zone, he cut to the right and used rookie defenseman Keith Aulie as a screen on goalie James Riemer. His wrist shot beat Riemer under the right arm for the game-winner.
"I wanted to get the screen for the goalie through the D, so it worked," Kovalchuk told Tom Gulitti of The Bergen Record.
It was Kovalchuk's third overtime game-winner this season. He gave ex-coach John MacLean his first win in overtime against the Buffalo Sabres on October 13 and sent Edmonton home losers on November 12.