He showed up with a fresh, short haircut right out of the Devils' dress code and grooming manual. No sense in trying to test general manager Lou Lamoriello's benevolence again so soon.

And then Ilya Kovalchuk, less than 24 hours from stepping off a plane from Russia, did what he does best. He scored a goal and set up another from Travis Zajac during a scrimmage against Albany (AHL) yesterday in the AmeriHealth Pavilion.

"For a guy who got off a plane after I don't know how long a travel day it was for him, I thought he looked pretty good. It's nice to have him back," coach Pete DeBoer said. "You can see even in the scrimmages what he brings to our team. He had a goal and an assist and created a handful of other chances. It's nice to have him back in the fold."