New Jersey Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk is one of those offensive players whose creativity knows no bounds. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that even something as mundane as an attempt to keep the puck in the attacking zone would feature some amusing flourish.
Here's Kovalchuk in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Philadelphia Flyers, using his head during the Devils win:
The puck was lifted in the air near the blue line of the Flyers' zone, where Kovalchuk was playing the point during an early third-period power play for New Jersey. He could have knocked it down with his glove, but that would have prevented a Devils teammate from being the next player to touch it, or else they'd get whistled for a hand pass.
So, instead, Kovalchuk used a soccer-style header to keep the play alive. Alas, he was outside the zone, and the puck was blown dead on an offside.
Impressive stuff from Kovy, but we still have to give the nod to Daniel Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks for the most impressive soccer header of the season (please keep the Canucks and "soccer moves" jokes to a minimum):
Check out other great moments in soccer-style plays during hockey games on this Puck Daddy post.