Kings' Kovalchuk scores first NHL goal since 2013

Los Angeles Kings forward Ilya Kovalchuk (Getty Images)

Ilya Kovalchuk scored his 417th NHL goal on April 25, 2013. It took 1993 days for him to score No. 418.

The Los Angeles Kings’ forward got his team on the board at the 6:26 mark of the first period in Tuesday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets, redirecting a Drew Doughty pass behind a sprawling Connor Hellebuyck.

Kovalchuk had been a dominant scorer in the NHL from his rookie season in 2001-02 with the Atlanta Thrashers until leaving the league after completing the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign with the New Jersey Devils. The Russian returned to his homeland to play in the KHL for SKA Saint Petersburg in 2013, and in five seasons he scored 120 goals.

The 35-year-old returned to the NHL after signing with the Kings on July 1.