OTTAWA — Ilya Kovalchuk's 400th NHL goal was exciting. His celebration was not.
Kovalchuk hit the milestone on Tuesday night, and provided the only offence in the New Jersey Devils' 1-0 victory over the Ottawa Senators.
While working the point on the power play, Kovalchuk took a pass from defenceman Marek Zidlicky and fired a slap shot past goalie Ben Bishop with 2:40 left in the second period. The calm Kovalchuk kept his arms down and waited at the blue line for his teammates to come to him for a subdued celebration.
"It wasn't much," he said of his reaction, "so hopefully when I score my 500th, it will be a little more exciting."
The Devils are solidly in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, three points behind Philadelphia and five in front of No. 7 Ottawa.
Kovalchuk also has 376 assists in 771 NHL regular-season games — the first 694 with the Atlanta Thrashers.
Subbing for Martin Brodeur, who lost 4-2 at the New York Rangers on Monday, Johan Hedberg made 34 saves for his fourth shutout of the season. He saved a first-period penalty shot by Erik Condra, who was tripped from behind on a breakaway by defenceman Anton Volchenkov.
Bishop made 33 saves.
The Senators failed to capitalize on two late power plays, including a 5-on-3 advantage for nearly 30 seconds.
The Devils had a couple of early chances in the first period but Bishop turned them aside. The rest of the period was rather uneventful except for the penalty shot and a final-minute flurry by the Senators.
It was the second 1-0 win by the Devils in four games and their fourth of the season. They also have a 1-0 loss.
"They like to trap it up and make it a difficult game. We just weren't able to get one past Hedberg," Senators forward Nick Foligno said. "It was a funny game. We weren't able to get too many power plays early on, and then we got some late but weren't able to generate much offence."
NOTES: In two previous meetings this season, the Senators lost 5-4 in a shootout on Dec 8 at New Jersey and rebounded to win 3-2 in overtime at home on Jan. 2. The Devils will host the final matchup of the season on April 7 ... Ottawa C Jason Spezza, who missed the game because of an illness, is one game shy of 600 in the NHL — all with the Senators. That milestone has now been delayed until Friday, when the Senators face the Canadiens in Montreal (7:30 p.m., Sportsnet East, Team 1200) ... Matt Carkner and Kaspars Daugavins were also scratched for Ottawa. Cam Janssen and Matt Taormina sat out for the Devils.