NEWS

Kovy making a point beyond scoresheet

Wednesday, 02.6.2013 / 4:24 PM ET / News
By Eric Marin
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Kovy making a point beyond scoresheet


Ilya Kovalchuk
's point production may have dipped since the first week of the season, but head coach Peter DeBoer says there's no cause for alarm.

"I'm not worried about Kovy," DeBoer said after Wednesday's optional practice. "Kovy's on board, Kovy's doing a lot of little things the right way that are helping us win games. He's on the ice all the time, and he's getting chances. Those are eventually going to go in for him."

The Devils' leading scorer last season (37g-46a-83pts) opened the new year with two goals and three assists in his first four games, including a successful shorthanded penalty shot. He's since gone five games without a point, and was limited to one shot in Tuesday's 3-1 win over the Rangers.

"I think I can produce more, that's for sure," Kovalchuk said. "But overall, I think we're playing well and the team's doing good so it doesn't really matter."

He'd like to see the team be more productive 5-on-5.

"It's only (nine) games we've played and it's still kind of like a training camp for everybody," Kovalchuk said. "I'm pretty sure we'll be better as the season goes on."

But Kovalchuk's role as a scorer shouldn't diminish the contributions he makes beyond the scoresheet.

"He takes a lot of personal pressure for us to win and for him to score," DeBoer said. "When you're winning 1-0 or losing 2-1 like we did in Boston, he takes that personally. For me, you can't lose sight of all the other good things he's doing, that the goals will come."

Right now the goals are coming from David Clarkson, who leads the Devils with seven after tallying twice against the Rangers. Only Patrick Marleau (9) and Thomas Vanek (8) have lit the lamp more times, and only Marleau (5) has more than Clarkson's four power-play markers.

Clarkson's (2g-1a) line with Patrik Elias (3a) and Adam Henrique (1g) combined for three goals and four assists versus Henrik Lundqvist as the Devils (5-1-3) won their second in a row since a four-game winless skid.

"It's all about the team," Kovalchuk said. "If we'll be struggling as a team, it'll be a different story. It'll be tough. But right now everything's working, knock on wood, and it doesn't matter–Clarky and Patty's line, they're doing really well, and it's great for our team. It says a lot.

High-scoring Tampa Bay comes to town Thursday, followed by a visit from the Penguins on Saturday to open a weekend home-and-home. The tandem of Martin Brodeur (4-1-2, 2.51 GAA, .907 save pct) and Johan Hedberg (1-0-1, 0.48 GAA, .980 save pct) will need to continue its strong play.

"We've gotten great goaltending so far," DeBoer said. "That's a key for any team in this league. It gives you a chance to win every night."

• Devils penalty killers are a perfect 15-for-15 since allowing three PPGs to the Islanders last Thursday.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
A. Henrique 75 16 27 -6 43
M. Cammalleri 68 27 15 2 42
P. Elias 69 13 21 -20 34
S. Gomez 58 7 27 -10 34
S. Bernier 67 16 16 2 32
T. Zajac 74 11 14 -3 25
A. Larsson 64 3 21 2 24
A. Greene 82 3 19 1 22
E. Gelinas 61 6 13 -2 19
M. Ryder 47 6 13 -1 19
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 26 31 9 .925 2.26
K. Kinkaid 6 5 4 .915 2.59