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Atlanta
Thrashers
35-41-6
New Jersey
Devils
51-27-4

game recap

Thrashers 4, Devils 0 (F)

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:46 AM

Eric Marin

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Thrashers 4, Devils 0 (F)
Atlanta Thrashers 4, New Jersey Devils 0

Zach Parise, who was named Thursday to the Eastern Conference All-Star team, tips a shot on Lehtonen.

newjerseydevils.com –
Kari Lehtonen made 29 saves for his 12th career shutout, and Ilya Kovalchuk had a goal and an assist in the Devils' 4-0 loss to the Atlanta Thrashers Thursday at Prudential Center.

The Thrashers struck three times in the second period and added another goal in the third for their first regulation win in the last eight games. The Devils failed to score on a four-minute power play in the final frame and became the first team to be blanked by Atlanta this season.

"I feel bad for anyone who had to come to watch that," said head coach Brent Sutter, whose team was shutout for the third time in its last nine games.

Rupp, who had two fights Thursday, checks Atlanta's Joey Crabb.
Photo Gallery | Game Highlights
Lehtonen took the loss in the Devils' 1-0 win over Atlanta on Oct. 16, but got better support Thursday on goals by Colby Armstrong, Jim Slater and Marty Reasoner.

Scott Clemmensen started his 13th straight game and was relieved by Kevin Weekes to start the third period after allowing three goals on 19 shots. Weekes gave up Reasoner's goal on the first shot he saw, then settled down and finished with four saves in his first action since Dec. 13.

The Devils (23-14-3) entered the game having averaged nearly three goals a game this season, while the Thrashers had allowed a league-high 3.63 goals per game. The New Jersey power play, which had gone 3-for-7 over its previous two contests, finished 0-for-7.  

"It may be the best thing for us," Sutter said of the Devils' 10-day, six-game road trip that begins Saturday in Los Angeles. New Jersey returns to host Montreal on Jan. 21.

"I trust this group, I've said this before," Sutter said. "We've had a bump in the road here that we're going to deal with."

The game was scoreless after an opening period in which the Devils were outshot, 9-6.

Brian Rolston's breakaway 5:58 into the game was one of the best scoring chances of the period. Rolston outmuscled a Thrashers defender at the Atlanta blueline and raced in for a forehand deke that Lehtonen stopped with his right pad.

David Clarkson and Chris Thorburn dropped gloves for an even tilt at 11:28 of the first.

Armstrong caught a lucky bounce to put Atlanta ahead in the second period. Clemmensen misplayed Armstrong's backhand centering feed, and knocked it over the goal line at 3:03 as he reached back to trap the puck with his right arm.

"I knew I saved it but I wasn't sure where it was," Clemmensen said. "I knew it wasn't in front of me, and I didn't want to knock it into my own net, but that's eventually what happened anyway. I just didn't know where the puck was, but I knew it was behind me somewhere."

Kovalchuk's 15th of the season, fifth on the power play, put the Thrashers ahead by a pair. With Clarkson off for roughing, Slava Kozlov fed cross-ice from the right circle for Kovalchuk's one-timer blast from the top of the left circle at 5:31.

An Atlanta 2-on-1 led to Slater's fourth of the year. He carried Thorburn's pass in alone on Clemmensen and deked on his forehand for a 3-0 lead at 14:00 of the second.

Reasoner snapped his seventh of the season over Weekes' glove side from the top of the right circle to round out the scoring 2:09 into the third period.

The effects of Mike Rupp's takedown in a second-period fight with Eric Boulton carried 2:51 into the third, when the two came together again behind the Atlanta net. Boulton tried goading Rupp into another scrap, but wound up taking a double-minor instead.

Rupp's discipline produced a four-minute power play for the Devils, who were already trailing by four.  

"At that point in the game, you're hoping he gets a major and then who's to say you can't score some goals," Rupp said. "Once he started punching me, he was just hitting me in the back of the helmet. I'm thinking, 'He's obviously upset so let me just take this and hopefully we can pop some goals in.'"

Rupp said Boulton claimed he took an elbow from Rupp at the end of the first fight. They fought again at 7:03 of the third, and Boulton was slapped with a 10-minute misconduct.

NJD NOTES
Colin White said he felt fine in his first game back after missing the previous five with an upper body injury. "Two points would have made me feel better tonight," White said. "Nothing feels good after a loss." ... Jay Leach was scratched from Thursday's lineup.

scoring summary
1st Period
NONE
2nd Period
03:03
ATL
Colby Armstrong (11) ASST: Todd White (25)
1 - 0 ATL
05:31
ATL
PPG - Ilya Kovalchuk (15) ASST: Vyacheslav Kozlov (22), Todd White (26)
2 - 0 ATL
14:00
ATL
Jim Slater (4) ASST: Chris Thorburn (4), Ilya Kovalchuk (27)
3 - 0 ATL
3rd Period
02:09
ATL
Marty Reasoner (7) ASST: Ron Hainsey (16), Joey Crabb (4)
4 - 0 ATL
penalty summary
1st Period
11:28
NJD
David Clarkson  Fighting (maj) against  Chris Thorburn
11:28
ATL
Chris Thorburn  Fighting (maj) against  David Clarkson
13:50
ATL
Boris Valabik  Interference against  Mike Rupp
2nd Period
00:17
ATL
Vyacheslav Kozlov  Hooking against  Jamie Langenbrunner
04:45
NJD
David Clarkson  Roughing against  Boris Valabik
05:38
NJD
Mike Rupp  Holding against  Joey Crabb
07:02
ATL
Ron Hainsey  Interference against  Zach Parise
11:18
NJD
Mike Rupp  Fighting (maj) against  Eric Boulton
11:18
ATL
Eric Boulton  Fighting (maj) against  Mike Rupp
3rd Period
02:51
ATL
Eric Boulton  Roughing against  Mike Rupp
02:51
ATL
Eric Boulton  Roughing against  Mike Rupp
07:03
ATL
Eric Boulton  Roughing against  Mike Rupp
07:03
NJD
Mike Rupp  Fighting (maj) against  Eric Boulton
07:03
ATL
Eric Boulton  Fighting (maj) against  Mike Rupp
07:03
ATL
Eric Boulton  Misconduct (10 min)
08:47
ATL
Nathan Oystrick  Cross checking against  David Clarkson
10:03
NJD
Patrik Elias  Tripping against  Jim Slater
10:32
NJD
Bobby Holik  Interference on goalkeeper against  Kari Lehtonen
18:56
NJD
Travis Zajac  Holding against  Joey Crabb
goalie stats
Kari Lehtonen
Kari Lehtonen
5-10-2
SA: 29TOI: 60:00
Saves: 29EV: 19 - 19
PIM: 0PP: 10 - 10
SV%: 1.000SH: 0 - 0
Kevin Weekes
SA: 5TOI: 20:00
Saves: 4EV: 0 - 1
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 4
SV%: .800SH: 0 - 0
Scott Clemmensen
SA: 19TOI: 40:00
Saves: 16EV: 13 - 15
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 3
SV%: .842SH: 1 - 1
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