Thrashers 4, Devils 3 (F/SO)
Brian Gionta's second goal in as many games had the Devils in good shape at 2-0.
newjerseydevils.com (Feb. 15) –
The Devils were seconds away from sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division and a sweep in their season series with the Atlanta Thrashers.
Unfortunately, Marian Hossa had other plans.
The subject of recent trade rumors, Hossa scored a goal and an assist, including the game-tying tally with 18.1 seconds left in regulation. Pascal Dupuis added the deciding goal in the 10th round of the shootout to settle a 4-3 loss for the Devils at Prudential Center on Friday night.
Arron Asham had a chance to send the shootout to an 11th round, but missed the net to Johan Hedberg
's glove side with New Jersey's final attempt.
Ilya Kovalchuk also recorded a goal and an assist against the Devils, who blew a 2-0 lead and missed a bid to record their first sweep of Atlanta since 1999-00. New Jersey dropped their first shootout of the season on home ice (3-1).
Kovalchuk extended the shootout to sudden death when he scored in the third round to answer Patrik Elias
' second-round marker. Hossa and Jamie Langenbrunner
each scored in the fourth, and the teams went scoreless until Dupuis beat Martin Brodeur
high to his glove side.
Brodeur (30-19-4) made 29 saves, but suffered his second shootout loss in his last five starts.
The Devils' goaltender kept the Devils alive in overtime with a couple of gems, including a stunning left-pad stop on Slava Kozlov at 2:01. After Vitaly Vishnevski was called for tripping, Brodeur came through again by snagging Kovalchuk's wrister from the left faceoff dot with 47.5 seconds left in the extra session.
"The was I look at tonight's game is that we got a good point, and the point we gave up wasn't a good way to give up a point," head coach Brent Sutter said. "We played hard and we were in a good mindset tonight. We didn't get two points, we got one."
The Devils (32-21-5) closed out the four-game homestand with a mark of 2-1-1 and have taken nine out of a possible 12 points in their last six games in Newark.
Next up is the series finale against the Senators on Saturday night in Ottawa. The club returns to open a three-game homestand beginning with Monday's matinee versus Carolina, and will play four of its six remaining February games at Prudental Center.
Parise and Brian Gionta combined to give the Devils a 2-0 lead by the 3:09 mark of the second period. Kovalchuk and Todd White countered for Atlanta.
Parise's 21st of the season from Elias and Langebrunner put New Jersey ahead in the first period and treated the Devils' faithful to the blare of the arena's brand-new goal horn.
An Elias one-timer from the top of the left circle was stopped by Hedberg, but Parise jumped on the rebound to fold a backhander around Hedberg's outstretched catching glove at 17:10.
Gionta's 15th of the year from Travis Zajac
and Dainius Zubrus
made it a two-goal advantage on the power play in the second period.
Gionta, who scored the overtime winner on Wednesday, beat Hedberg to his glove side with a slapshot from the top of the left circle at 3:09. The man-advantage tally gave Gionta goals in consecutive games for the first time since he notched four in three straight games from Nov. 24-30.
Kovalchuk responded with his 40th only 50 seconds later, and White tied the game at 2-2 with his 12th.
White redirected Mark Recchi's pass from the goal line to the right of the net. Mike Mottau couldn't gain position on White in time to stop the power-play tip-in at 11:31 of the second.
John Madden broke the stalemate with his 15th at 8:56 of the third.
Madden fired a sharp-angle shot from the goal line that hit Hedberg's stick before bouncing off defenseman Garnet Exelby and into the Thrashers' net for a 3-2 New Jersey lead.
Atlanta eventually pulled Hedberg late in the third for an extra skater, and Eric Perrin shovelled the puck toward the front of the net where it caromed off Brodeur and trickled toward the goal line, giving Hossa the easy tap-in.
The Devils' last home loss to the Thrashers came in a 4-3 shootout defeat on Dec. 19, 2006... The installation of Prudential Center's new goal horn was finished at about 2:30 on Friday afternoon... Friday's scratches were Sheldon Brookbank and Andy Greene
... Rod Pelley
was reassigned to Lowell earlier in the day.
|Three star selections