Devils 3, Thrashers 2 (F/SO)
John Madden's seventh of the season gave the Devils a 2-1 lead in the second period.
newjerseydevils.com (Dec. 2) –
The winning streak has been stretched to seven.
Brian Gionta scored the lone goal of the shootout and Martin Brodeur
stopped all three Atlanta attempts, as the Devils topped the Thrashers with a 3-2 shootout victory at Prudential Center on Sunday.
Gionta roofed a backhander over Atlanta goaltender Johan Hedberg
to seal New Jersey's first shootout win of the season.
Sergei Brylin and John Madden scored in regulation for the Devils, who extended their season-high wins streak to seven games. The club record of 11 was set during the 2005-06 season.
Brodeur made 23 saves, including four in overtime, and extended his personal seven-game win streak by denying Ilya Kovalchuk on the Thrashers' final shootout attempt.
Brodeur helped the Devils reach the shootout with a superb save in overtime, getting his catching glove up on Marian Hossa's shot from the top of the right circle with 1:49 remaining in the extra session.
"It was a hard-fought game; a tight game," head coach Brent Sutter said. "There were a lot of big plays. I thought we were patient within our game. Outside of maybe Kovalchuk's goal, we were pretty solid."
It was Kovalchuk who knotted the contest, 2-2, with a bullet one-timer from the high slot for his league-leading 22nd goal of the season at 9:34 of the third.
"He's a very gifted player," Sutter said of Atlanta's top sniper. "When he gets an opportunity, he takes advantage – and he doesn't need too many opportunities."
With the victory, the Devils (14-10-2) improved to 6-4 on home ice and moved into a tie with the Philadelphia Flyers for second place in the Atlantic Division, two points behind the first-place Rangers.
The Devils had taken the lead when Madden broke a 1-1 tie with his seventh of the season from Karel Rachunek and Brylin at 15:46 of the second period.
Rachunek picked up a Brylin pass in the neutral zone, and hit Madden with a centering feed for a tap-in goal past Hedberg.
Brylin's third of the season erased a 1-0 deficit with 50.3 seconds remaining in the first period, on assists from Paul Martin and Madden.
Brylin cleared the defensive zone, flipping the puck to center ice where it was controlled by Madden. Madden then put the puck on the stick of a streaking Martin, who carried the puck down the right-side boards before finding Brylin in the slot for the goal.
The Thrashers drew first blood at 14:51 of the opening frame on Todd White's power-play goal from Tobias Enstrom and Marian Hossa. It was just the second goal that New Jersey's penalty killers have allowed in their opponents' last 27 chances on the man advantage during their current winning streak.
New Jersey's power play failed to connect in five opportunities, going without a goal for just the third time during the current winning streak (7-for-31, 22.6%).
The Devils remain undefeated this season (10-0-0) when leading after two periods, and won for the fourth time (4-8-1) after allowing the first goal.
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The Devils lost their only previous shootout this season, 2-1, to the Rangers on Nov. 3... Brodeur has now allowed two goals or less in each of his last eight starts (7-1-0), including two shutouts... Jay Pandolfo missed his second straight game with the groin injury suffered on Nov. 28 against Dallas.... Mike Rupp and Sheldon Brookbank were healthy scratches.
GREAT SCOTT! 4 FOR $44 SALE THIS TUESDAY, DEC. 4
For one day only, fans will be able to get four tickets to Scott Stevens Hall of Fame Night for just $44.
Beginning at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 4, a limited number of ticket 4-packs to the Friday, Dec. 7 matchup against the Washington Capitals will be available only on newjerseydevils.com.
Join the Devils as they honor Stevens' induction into the Hockey Hall of Fame by grabbing the 4 for $44 deal while supplies last. Limit two 4-packs per person.
TOYS FOR TOTS, DEC. 5 vs. BOSTON
The Devils continue the five-game homestand on Wednesday, Dec. 5, when they host the Boston Bruins at 7 p.m.
All fans attending the game are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys for the Devils' annual Toys for Tots
collection. Representatives from the United States Marine Corps, Company G 2/25, based in Dover, N.J., will be on hand at the PNC Bank and Verizon Towers, as well as the Lafayette Street and VIP entrances to collect the toys. Anyone making a donation will be eligible to win autographed Devils’ memorabilia.
Following the collection, the toys will be distributed to hospitals and orphanages, and to less-fortunate children throughout the community.
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