Posted March 20, 2012 on AP on Fox
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Ilya Kovalchuk scored his 400th NHL goal, and backup goalie Johan Hedberg made it stand up in the New Jersey Devils' 1-0 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night. While working the point on the power play, Kovalchuk took a pass from defenseman Marek Zidlicky and fired a slap shot past goalie Ben Bishop with 2:40 left in the second period. The calm Kovalchuk kept his arms down and waited at the blue line for his teammates to come to him for a subdued celebration. Kovalchuk also has 376 assists in 771 NHL regular-season games - the first 694 with the Atlanta Thrashers. Subbing for Martin Brodeur, who lost 4-2 at the New York Rangers on Monday, Hedberg made 34 saves for his fourth shutout of the season. He saved a first-period penalty shot by Erik Condra, who was tripped from behind on a breakaway by defenseman Anton Volchenkov. Bishop made 33 saves. The Senators failed to capitalize on two late power plays, including a 5-on-3 advantage for nearly 30 seconds. The Devils had a couple of early chances in the first period but Bishop turned them aside. The rest of the period was rather uneventful except for the penalty shot and a final-minute flurry by the Senators. It was the second 1-0 win by the Devils in four games and their fourth of the season. They also have a 1-0 loss. NOTES: In two previous meetings this season, the Senators lost 5-4 in a shootout on Dec 8 at New Jersey and rebounded to win 3-2 in overtime at home on Jan. 2. The Devils will host the final matchup of the season on April 7. ... Ottawa C Jason Spezza, who missed the game because of an illness, is one game shy of 600 in the NHL - all with the Senators. Matt Carkner and Kaspars Daugavins were also out. Cam Janssen and Matt Taormina sat out for the Devils.
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