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Game Recap

Devils 6, Thrashers 5 (Final)

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:46 AM

New Jersey Devils

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Devils 6, Thrashers 5 (Final)
New Jersey Devils 6, Atlanta Thrashers 5 (Oct. 13) – Up by a goal after one period, and down by a goal after two, the Devils held on for a wild 6-5 win over the Thrashers Saturday night in Atlanta.

Patrik Elias scored twice, including the final tiebreaker, for his first two goals of the season, as the Devils (2-3-0) kept the Thrashers winless on the season.

Martin Brodeur stopped 12 of 17 shots in his first victory of 2007-08.

After the Thrashers came up with three second-period goals to erase a 2-1 Devils lead, Jay Pandolfo's marker with 19 seconds left in the middle frame brought the Devils back to within one at 4-3.

Still without a point in the standings, Atlanta had not registered as many as three goals in any of its four previous games. But the stage was set for a furious back-and-forth in the third period.

Facing a potential 1-4-0 record heading into Wednesday's meeting with Sidney Crosby and the Penguins, the Devils got goals from Travis Zajac and Sergei Brylin to take back a 5-4 lead with less than eight minutes remaining.

But Ilya Kovalchuk, whose power-play goal at 0:22 of the second period had tied the score at 2-2, struck again, this time knotting the game at 5-5.

The Devils continued to pressure, and soon forced Atlanta's hand. Defenseman Garnet Exelby wrestled down Zach Parise behind the Thrashers net at 18:15, giving New Jersey a power play with less than two minutes remaining in regulation.

Elias and Paul Martin manned the points on the ensuing power play, and Elias rocketed a one-timer off of a Martin pass through Atlanta netminder Kari Lehtonen to break the 5-5 tie with 28 seconds left.

The victory over Atlanta gives the Devils their first win since defeating Florida, 4-1, last Saturday. Entering tonight's action, road teams trailing after two periods were 3-28-0 (.097).

John Madden opened the game's scoring in the first period with his third of the season, a power-play marker that gave the Devils a 1-0 lead.

Rushing the puck into Atlanta territory, Arron Asham backhanded a pass to Dainius Zubrus, who put a shot on net. The rebound spun out in front of Lehtonen, and Madden banged home the rebound.

Atlanta's Darren Haydar evened the score at 1-1, but late in the first, Elias and the Devils capitalized on a holding call against Atlanta forward Brett Sterling.

With New Jersey controlling the puck in the Atlanta zone, Elias broke toward the net from his perch at the left point. Zajac controlled the puck to Lehtonen's left, and slipped Elias a backdoor pass that redirected past Lehtonen for New Jersey's second goal at 18:05.

Pandolfo's goal began with a rush from Martin, who crossed the Atlanta blue line and threw a shot on net from the left circle. Pandolfo followed up the rebound for his first of the season.

Martin finished with three assists, and was one of five Devils (Elias 2g-1a, Madden 1g-1a, Parise 2a, Zajac 1g-2a) to record a multi-point game. Parise's two assists gave him 100 points for his career.

Zajac's first of the season developed after Elias put a centering feed the crease that pinballed through the slot. The Winnipeg native's got to the puck and released a backhander found the back of the net for his first goal of the season and a 4-4 tie.

Brylin temporarily put the Devils ahead when his slap shot was gloved down by Lehtonen, and slid loose from Lehtonen's pads long enough for Brylin to tap it home with a follow-up shot for a 5-4 Devils lead.

Four road games now remain for Brent Sutter's group, which plays its home opener at Prudential Center on Oct. 27 against Ottawa.

scoring summary
1st Period
PPG - John Madden (3) ASST: Dainius Zubrus (2), Arron Asham (2)
1 - 0 NJD
Darren Haydar (1) ASST: Bryan Little (1), Brett Sterling (1)
1 - 1 Tie
PPG - Patrik Elias (1) ASST: Travis Zajac (2), Zach Parise (4)
2 - 1 NJD
2nd Period
PPG - Ilya Kovalchuk (2) ASST: Vyacheslav Kozlov (1), Alexei Zhitnik (2)
2 - 2 Tie
Garnet Exelby (1) ASST: Darren Haydar (1), Bobby Holik (1)
3 - 2 ATL
Bobby Holik (1) ASST: Eric Boulton (1), Niclas Havelid (1)
4 - 2 ATL
Jay Pandolfo (1) ASST: Paul Martin (1), John Madden (1)
4 - 3 ATL
3rd Period
Travis Zajac (1) ASST: Patrik Elias (2), Brian Gionta (1)
4 - 4 Tie
Sergei Brylin (1) ASST: Travis Zajac (3), Paul Martin (2)
5 - 4 NJD
Ilya Kovalchuk (3) ASST: Todd White (2), Ken Klee (1)
5 - 5 Tie
PPG - Patrik Elias (2) ASST: Paul Martin (3), Zach Parise (5)
6 - 5 NJD
penalty summary
1st Period
Niclas Havelid  Interference against  Dainius Zubrus
Ken Klee  Interference against  Brian Gionta
Brett Sterling  Holding against  Dainius Zubrus
Arron Asham  Hooking against  Brett Sterling
2nd Period
Bryan Little  Hi stick - double minor against  Arron Asham
3rd Period
Jim Slater  Interference on goalkeeper against  Martin Brodeur
John Madden  Hooking against  Ilya Kovalchuk
Johnny Oduya  Cross checking against  Todd White
Todd White  Diving against  Johnny Oduya
Garnet Exelby  Holding against  Zach Parise
goalie stats
Martin Brodeur
Martin Brodeur
SA: 17TOI: 60:00
Saves: 12EV: 11 - 15
PIM: 0PP: 0 - 1
SV%: .706SH: 1 - 1
Kari Lehtonen
Kari Lehtonen
SA: 35TOI: 59:44
Saves: 29EV: 19 - 22
PIM: 0PP: 8 - 11
SV%: .829SH: 2 - 2
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