Originally written on Fox Sports  |  Last updated 3/8/12

UNIONDALE, NY - OCTOBER 02: Ilya Kovalchuk of the New Jersey Devils skates against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on October 2, 2010 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Devils 2-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Ilya Kovalchuk scored three goals to record his second hat trick in just over three weeks to lead the New Jersey Devils to a 5-1 victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night. Patrik Elias and David Clarkson also scored and Martin Brodeur made 29 saves as the Devils earned their 38th win, matching last season's total when they missed the playoffs for the first time since 1996. Kovalchuk's linemates, Adam Henrique and Zach Parise, each had two assists, with Parise scoring his 400th NHL point. Defenseman Andy MacDonald scored for the Islanders, who had a two-game winning streak snapped and taking another hit to their already dim playoff hopes. Evgeni Nabokov stopped 15 shots and lost for the sixth time in 16 games (10-5-1). The streaky Kovalchuk has a team-high 29 goals, and he appears to be on a run. He scored in an emotional win over the New York Rangers on Tuesday and has four goals in two games after going nine without one. His final goal at 8:09 of the third period c...
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