GANGNEUNG, South Korea (AP) — Ilya Kovalchuk may have been out of the NHL for almost five years, but he remains an impressive player.
The former New Jersey Devils wing and five-time Olympian scored his 12th and 13th career goals at the games in Saturday’s 4-0 win over the United States.
Before the game, he’d been Russia’s joint highest-scoring Olympic player since the collapse of the Soviet Union, but the first goal moved him past Pavel Bure’s 11 goals and made him the sole record holder. Russian media are already talking about a sixth Olympics in 2022, and breaking Anatoly Firsov’s Soviet-era Olympic scoring record of 18 goals.
“I still have some gas left in my tank, so I hope I score some more,” he said after the game, and sounded more than a little nostalgic for North American opposition, even though the U.S. team was hardly NHL standard.