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Kovalchuk’s Hat Trick Leads Devils Past Islanders

Ilya Kovalchuk recorded his second hat trick in just over three weeks to lead the New Jersey Devils to a 5-1 victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night.

Andy Marlin/NHLI/Getty Images

Patrik Elias and David Clarkson also scored and Martin Brodeur made 29 saves as the Devils earned their 38th win, matching last season’s total when they missed the playoffs for the first time since 1996.

Kovalchuk’s linemates, Adam Henrique and Zach Parise, each had two assists, with Parise scoring his 400th NHL point.

Defenseman Andy MacDonald scored for the Islanders, who had a two-game winning streak snapped and taking another hit to their already dim playoff hopes. Evgeni Nabokov stopped 15 shots and lost for the sixth time in 16 games (10-5-1).

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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