Ilya Kovalchuk’s fists outshone his team’s sparkling special teams.
Kurtis Foster scored a pair of power-play goals and the New Jersey Devils held on for a 6-4 victory over the Flyers yesterday in Philadelphia.
Kovalchuk, Dainius Zubrus, Zach Parise, and Alexei Ponikarovsky also scored for the Devils, who have won three in a row. New Jersey scored three times on the power play and once shorthanded.
But Kovalchuk was the talk of the locker room after the three-time All-Star flattened Brayden Schenn in a rare fight.
“Bad decision by Schenn,’’ said Devils goaltender Johan Hedberg. “He’s a big man and not afraid.’’
Kovalchuk dropped the gloves after he saw Parise get taken down.
“Hopefully the word spreads you don’t want to mess with this guy,’’ Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. “He’s a big, tough, strong man. I like why he fought. It wasn’t for himself, but for Zach.’’
Down, 6-0, to start the third period, the Flyers stormed back to make it close. Wayne Simmonds, Jaromir Jagr, Claude Giroux, and Jake Voracek had Philadelphia’s goals.
The Flyers were 14 for 14 on the penalty kill against the Devils in the first three meetings this season.
“We have to look at specialty teams and see what we can do better,’’ Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said.
Flyers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky allowed a career-worst six goals on 23 shots before he was replaced by Ilya Bryzgalov in the second period.
Oilers 5, Red Wings 4 - Sam Gagner continued to rack up the points and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored the shootout winner as host Edmonton beat league-leading Detroit.
Gagner had two goals and an assist one night after his 8-point game in Edmonton’s 8-4 win over Chicago. He also scored in the shootout.
The Oilers blew a 3-1 lead in the third period but sent it to overtime when Jordan Eberle scored with 39 seconds left.
Eberle ended up with a pair of goals for the Oilers, who have won three in a row and are 4-0-1 in their last five games.
Todd Bertuzzi had a pair of goals, and Valtteri Filppula and Drew Miller also scored for the Red Wings, who had a two-game winning streak snapped and lost for only the second time in 11 games.
Maple Leafs 5, Senators 0 - James Reimer posted his second straight shutout, and Phil Kessel and Tyler Bozak each had a goal and two assists to lead visiting Toronto over Ottawa.
Dion Phaneuf, Luke Schenn, and Cody Franson also scored for the Maple Leafs. Reimer stopped 49 shots for his third shutout of the season.
Lightning 6, Panthers 3 - Martin St. Louis scored three times in his 900th NHL game, Steven Stamkos added his league-leading 34th goal, and host Tampa Bay beat Florida.
Nate Thompson and Vincent Lecavalier also scored for the Lightning, who have won six of seven. Lecavalier added three assists.
Hurricanes 2, Kings 1 - Jeff Skinner scored 3:02 into the third period to lift host Carolina over Los Angeles.
Jiri Tlutsy also scored and Cam Ward made 24 saves for the Hurricanes.
Capitals 3, Canadiens 0 - Tomas Vokoun made 30 saves for his third shutout of the season and Alexander Semin scored on the second of two penalty shots for visiting Washington.
Dennis Wideman and Matt Hendricks also scored for Washington. Alex Ovechkin returned to the Capitals’ lineup after serving a three-game suspension for his hit on Pittsburgh’s Zbynek Michalek.
Canucks 3, Avalanche 2 - Kevin Bieksa tied the game with 34.1 seconds remaining in regulation and Mason Raymond scored the lone goal in the shootout as Vancouver rallied past host Colorado.
Coyotes 5, Sharks 3 - Lauri Korpikoski scored two goals to lead host Phoenix over San Jose.
Stars 2, Wild 1 - Jamie Benn scored in the second round of the shootout as Dallas beat visiting Minnesota.
Predators 3, Blues 1 - Pekka Rinne made 41 saves, and Martin Erat had a goal and two assists in host Nashville’s win.
Sabres 4, Islanders 3 - Brad Boyes and Jason Pominville scored shootout goals and visiting Buffalo rallied from a 3-1 deficit to beat New York.