Ilya Kovalchuk's Top 6 Shootout Goals of the Year

Peter MillsContributor IIIMarch 17, 2012

Ilya Kovalchuk's Top 6 Shootout Goals of the Year

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    Ilya Kovalchuk has become quite the shootout specialist.

    The New Jersey Devils' sniper scored in a shootout against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, netting his 10th goal in 12 attempts this season. The goal set the all-time record for game-deciding shootout goals in a season, with seven.

    He also tied the record for most shootout goals in a season with three other players, though only one did it in as few attempts (Wojtek Wolski, 2008-09).

    In celebration of his terrific stats this year, here are Kovy's six best shootout goals of the year.

5. Devils vs. Blue Jackets 11/23/11

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    Apologies for the poor-quality video, but it does give a great angle of the goal.

    Kovalchuk skates right down the middle and rips a quick wrister past Curtis Sanford before the goalie has a chance to react.

    You'll find that's a recurring theme in this list.

4. Devils vs. Panthers 12/13/11

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    Kovalchuk comes in quick here and shoots before Florida's goalie has a real chance to react. With a wrist shot, he whips the puck in off the right post.

3. Devils vs. Predators 10/15/11

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    Sometimes a shooter can just make a goalie look bad. Kovalchuk seems to do that a lot in shootouts.

    Here, he fakes a shot that drops Rinne, then breaks right, waiting out the Predators' goaltender. In the end, Rinne is face-down and Kovalchuk has a wide-open top half of the net to drive it home.

     

    I recommend watching Parise's shootout goal at 1:05. It's as impressive as what we've come to expect from the young star.

2. Devils vs. Capitals 12/23/11

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    By the time Michal Neuvirth reacts to this shot, it's already blazed past his five-hole, hit the twine, and bounced back out past the goal-line.

    Neuvirth's reaction? It appears to be a sigh, followed by looking down through his own legs and wondering what just happened.

1a. Devils vs. Kings 10/13/11

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    Kovy pulls out his best move of the season against Jonathan Quick.

    He comes in quick, subtly hints right, and then pulls the puck to his backhand and raises it over Quick's pad. The King's only response was an attempt at swinging his glove behind his back. Needless to say, it didn't work.

    Boy, that shot is so nice that I'd like to see it again.

1b. Devils vs. Sharks 10/21/11

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    ...And apparently Kovy felt that way too, as he added this gem just eight days later.

    It's almost the exact same move, but with near-Datsyukian levels of smoothness. And that's not a compliment I throw around lightly.