With the Devils on the power play, Kovalchuk wired a shot from the left point that went through a screen and past Ottawa goaltender Ben Bishop for his 31st goal of the season -- and the 400th of his career in his 771st NHL game. He also has 376 assists for 776 points.
Kovalchuk scored 328 goals with the Atlanta Thrashers before being traded to the Devils late in the 2009-10 season.
Kovalchuk, now in his 10th NHL season, scored 29 goals as a rookie with Atlanta in 2001-02 and has had 30 or more in all nine seasons since then.
We're buyers. We're committed to winning. That's what [owner Vinnie Viola] has said all along and what we've said all along. We want to win. We want to win a championship. We're putting the pieces together, step by step, and we're hopeful that Jaromir can lead these young guys to the promised land. It's a win-win for us.
— Panthers GM Dale Tallon on Jaromir Jagr, who he traded for from the Devils on Thursday