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Kovalev Returns to Broadway, Burns Old Mates

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

Alexei Kovalev couldn't have scripted a more fitting return to Broadway, netting New York's lone tally in a 1-0 shutout over the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at MSG. Kovelev, who has now collected two goals in as many games since being acquired in an eight-player deal with the Pens four days ago, deflected a Tom Poti shot past Johan Hedberg for the winner.

Following the game, Kovalev spoke about his game-winner and his return to Madison Square Garden as a Ranger.


Question: How good did it feel to return to MSG and score the winning goal?
Kovalev: You can't have a better day than today. This team needs wins and I am trying to do the best that I can. You can't play by yourself, it has to be 20 guys and today it really showed. The last couple of games really showed a team effort. It was good just to get over it.

Question: Unusual facing the Penguins so quickly?
Kovalev: It happened to me when I was traded to Pittsburgh. I played right away against the Rangers so this is pretty much the same thing just in reverse.

Question: Thoughts on the power play?
Kovalev: We have been struggling on the powerplay . We had some good chances in Florida because we kept a guy in front of the net and we kept throwing the puck at the net and we tried to get rebounds. Today, right from the beginning we were moving the puck outside and we weren't getting the results, so they put me at forward and I tried to do what was best. I got the chance and I tipped it.

Question: Your feeling on the crowd and on returning to MSG?
Kovalev: I am really happy the way the crowd reacted and I know I have a lot of people and fans that love me here and love the way I play. It was a tough day, but I am glad to get over it.
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