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Ilya Kovalchuk had a Gordie Howe hat trick

Ilya Kovalchuk, referee Chris Lee

New Jersey Devils’ Ilya Kovalchuk, center, of Russia, looks toward official Chris Lee (28) on a call in which the Devils were denied a goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)


Ilya Kovalchuk has been having a monster season for the Devils but getting a Gordie Howe hat trick? That would seem pretty unlikely... Unless you’re the Philadelphia Flyers trying to hold him down today.

Kovalchuk scored a goal and added two assists in the Devils’ 6-4 win over the Flyers and Kovalchuk even played the role of enforcer when Brayden Schenn came calling. Kovalchuk and Schenn squared off and sure enough, Kovalchuk can handle his business.

Who knew that Ilya Kovalchuk would be the guy to score goals and throw fists for the Devils? Perhaps the next 13 years in New Jersey won’t be so bad.

For the record, the fight was the ninth of Kovalchuk’s career according to Hockey Fights and it’s the 14th Gordie Howe hat trick overall this season and the first of Kovalchuk’s career.