In a marquee matchup between Ilya Kovalchuk and Alex Ovechkin, the two Russian stars did not disappoint.

It was Kovalchuk whose goal during a two-man power play advantage midway through the third period tonight gave the Devils a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center.

And Ovechkin looked like his old self, threatening to take over the game at various points.

“He played well,” goalie Martin Brodeur said of Ovechkin. “He made some power moves I didn’t see in the first game we played against them. He had some great chances and created a lot with his strength and speed.”

But it was 22-year-old Russian Andrei Loktionov who arguably had the best night of all. Loktionov, acquired in a Feb. 6 trade with the Los Angeles Kings for two draft picks, scored his first goal for the Devils and sparked their comeback as they avoided falling into a three-game losing streak.

“I scored a goal I think will help me play better and better and feel more comfortable,” said Loktionov, playing in his second game for the Devils. “I’m so glad to score a goal. It was a very important goal, too.”

The Devils were trailing, 2-1, when coach Pete DeBoer made some changes in the third period. He put Loktionov between wingers Alexei Ponikarovsky and Stephen Gionta and it paid off.

Loktionov won the faceoff with Mike Ribeiro in the right circle, getting the puck back to Adam Larsson. The defenseman put a shot on net through a crowd and the rebound came to Loktionov, who scored at a sharp angle from below the right circle.

“I think it was right on my tape. The goalie did a good job,” Loktionov said with a laugh.

DeBoer explained the line juggling.

“In the second period I thought we got out of our game. We didn’t have a lot going,” the coach explained. “I thought we needed a little bit of a spark so we were just moving people around trying to spark something and he (Loktionov) did a good job of taking advantage of his opportunity.