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Atlanta
Thrashers
33-37-8-4
New Jersey
Devils
43-25-12-2

26 SOG
34 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
ATL
NJD
game recap

Atlanta Thrashers 2, New Jersey Devils 3 FINAL

Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:55 AM

Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) _ Jeff Friesen has been a streaky goal scorer since coming to the New Jersey Devils, and it appears he's on another run.

After going 10 games without a goal, Friesen scored his third in four games early in the third period to lead the Devils to a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Sunday night.

``Sometimes you get in slumps and, for whatever reason, guys don't get on the same page,'' Friesen said. ``Sometimes it's a frustrating rut to get out of, but I feel I'm out of the rut now and I'm starting to contribute offensively.''

Friesen scored his third game-winning goal of the season by taking advantage of a bad play by Thrashers superstar Ilya Kovalchuk, whose first career short-handed goal minutes earlier had tied the game at 2.

Kovalchuk had just been stopped on a three-on-one break, when the Devils then counterattacked.

Kovalchuk eventually got the puck along the side boards, but he made an ill advised pass across the middle of his own zone.

Friesen read the play.

``I just went to the lane where I saw he was trying to throw it,'' Friesen said. ``Obviously, you're a little surprised. It just came right on my stick. It was a big goal because this is a big win for the team.''

It was a big disappointment for Kovalchuk.

``I can't give chances like this,'' Kovalchuk said. ``If I want to be a leader on this team I have to play smarter.''

Martin Brodeur made 24 saves, including a spectacular tumbling stop on Frantisek Kaberle in the second period, and Grant Marshall scored a goal and set up another by Patrik Elias to help the Devils win for the fourth time (4-1-1) in six games.

Jeff Cowan also scored for Atlanta, which lost for the second time in two nights.

Kovalchuk had tied the game at 4:19 with his first career short-handed goal.

A little more than two minutes later, he led a three-on-one rush into the Devils' zone. Brodeur made a pad save on the initial shot and Cowan banged the rebound off the goal post.

Friesen capitalized on Kovalchuk's mistakes seconds later for his 11th goal.

``He's 20-years-old and he still has lots to learn,'' Atlanta coach Bob Hartley said of Kovalchuk. ``Tonight is a good indication of this. He has lots to offer. He put us back in the game and he cost us the game. That's part of being a 20-old-year kid.''

Brodeur made the lead stand, making his best save on a shot through a screen by Slava Kozlov with about five minutes to go.

New Jersey scored two power-play goals in the first period.

Marshall gave the Devils the lead at 3:37 by deflecting a point shot by Brian Rafalski past Dafoe.

Marshall set up Elias' second goal in two games with a backhand shot from the right faceoff circle. Dafoe made the save, but Elias swept the rebound home for his team-high 17th goal.

Ronald Petrovicky was originally credited with the Thrashers' first goal. He took a shot from the left circle that Brodeur stopped. The Devils' failed to clear the puck and Cowan and Petrovicky swatted at it simultaneously, sending the puck over Brodeur's shoulder.

scoring summary
1st Period
03:37
NJD
PPG - Grant Marshall (5) Tip-in - ASST: Brian Rafalski (22), Scott Gomez (22)
1 - 0 NJD
12:15
NJD
PPG - Patrik Elias (17) Backhand shot - ASST: Grant Marshall (4), Scott Niedermayer (20)
2 - 0 NJD
14:14
ATL
Jeff Cowan (7) Snap shot - ASST: Brian Swanson (1), Ronald Petrovicky (7)
2 - 1 NJD
2nd Period
NONE
3rd Period
04:19
ATL
SHG - Ilya Kovalchuk (26) Snap shot - ASST: NONE
2 - 2 Tie
06:36
NJD
Jeff Friesen (11) Snap shot - ASST: NONE
3 - 2 NJD
penalty summary
1st Period
01:52
ATL
Vyacheslav Kozlov  Hooking against  Scott Niedermayer
04:07
NJD
Rob Skrlac  Cross checking against  Zdenek Blatny
09:46
ATL
Francis Lessard  Fighting (maj) against  Rob Skrlac
09:46
NJD
Rob Skrlac  Fighting (maj) against  Francis Lessard
10:57
ATL
Ronald Petrovicky  Slashing against  Patrik Elias
16:25
NJD
Scott Gomez  Elbowing against  Tomas Kloucek
18:19
ATL
Ilya Kovalchuk  Slashing against  John Madden
2nd Period
08:09
NJD
Erik Rasmussen  Boarding against  Shawn McEachern
18:37
ATL
Vyacheslav Kozlov  Interference against  Colin White
3rd Period
03:12
ATL
Vyacheslav Kozlov  Hi-sticking against  John Madden
goalie stats
Byron Dafoe
SA: 34TOI: 59:02
Saves: 31EV: 20 - 21
PIM: 0PP: 10 - 12
SV%: .912SH: 1 - 1
Martin Brodeur
SA: 26TOI: 60:00
Saves: 24EV: 17 - 18
PIM: 0PP: 6 - 6
SV%: .923SH: 1 - 2