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Preview: Devils vs. Thrashers

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:46 AM

New Jersey Devils

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Preview: Devils vs. Thrashers
Atlanta Thrashers vs. New Jersey Devils –
The Devils have been playing their best hockey of the season. The Atlanta Thrashers, meanwhile, are coming off their best all-around game.

The Devils look for their second win against the Thrashers in just over a week and third in a row against them overall when they meet on Sunday at the Prudential Center (5:00 p.m., FSN NY, WWDJ 970 AM).

New Jersey (13-10-2) has won a season-high six in a row, including a 4-0 win over the Montreal on Friday. New Jersey has outscored its opponents 22-7 during the streak, which included a 3-0 road win over the Thrashers (11-13-0) on Nov. 23.

The club's current winning streak surpasses its longest from all of last season (5-0-0, Dec. 1-9), and stands as the longest since an NHL-record 11-game stretch to close out the 2005-06 campaign.

Zach Parise had his first NHL hat trick and an assist for a career-high four points in the win over the Canadiens.

"He's been playing well lately," Martin Brodeur said of Parise. "He's Johnny on the spot. He puts himself in good positions to score goals. Right now, he has the hot stick. Let's hope it keeps up."

Parise - the Devils' leading goal scorer last season with 31 - has four goals and four assists in his last three games. He also leads New Jersey in scoring this season with 12 goals and 16 assists.

Parise had all four goals and four assists against the Thrashers in a six-game span from March 2006-Oct. 13, but was held off the scoresheet in last month's win.

Brodeur also has been a big reason for the Devils' recent surge. Starting with his 500th career win on Nov. 17 against Philadelphia, the three-time Vezina Trophy winner has recorded a 1.17 goals-against average during the streak, and with two shutouts is tied with George Hainsworth for second all-time with 94.

Brodeur, who had a personal-best 12 shutouts last season and two in his career versus Atlanta, needs nine more to tie Terry Sawchuk for the most in NHL history.

To extend their run, they'll need to beat the Thrashers(11-13-0), who snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-0 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday.

Kari Lehtonen, playing his first game after missing six weeks with a groin injury, made 33 saves in the win,

Lehtonen was 0-4-0 with a 4.48 goals-against average in five starts before the injury. He's 4-2-0 with a 3.58 GAA in six career starts against New Jersey, but allowed six goals on Oct. 13 in a 6-5 home loss to the Devils.

Lehtonen also was helped Saturday by Ilya Kovalchuk's league-leading 21st goal just 34 seconds into the game. Eric Boulton, Marian Hossa and Slava Kozlov also scored in the first period.

Kovalchuk has points in six straight games in New Jersey, totaling three goals and four assists.

with wire services

Jay Pandolfo (groin injury, suffered Nov. 28 vs. Dal., 1 gm missed) had his ironman streak of 307 snapped when he missed Friday's game against the Canadiens. He is listed as day to day... From Nov. 21-24, Jamie Langenbrunner tied a team record by recording assists on six consecutive team goals. He tied the record held by Assistant Coach John MacLean (Mar. 27-31, '87).

The Devils will host their annual Toys for Tots collection next Wednesday, December 5, when they host the Boston Bruins for a 7:00 p.m. faceoff at Prudential Center. Once again, this year’s event is being held in conjunction with the United States Marine Corps.

All fans attending the game are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys. Representatives from the USMC, 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. This marks the 60th year of the Marine Corps involvement with the nationwide Toys for Tots program.

2007-2008 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Feb 15 '08 ATL 4 at NJD 3 - SO P. Dupuis
Dec 02 '07 ATL 2 at NJD 3 - SO B. Gionta
Nov 23 '07 NJD 3 at ATL 0 R. Pelley
Oct 13 '07 NJD 6 at ATL 5 P. Elias
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