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Atlanta
Thrashers
43-28-11
New Jersey
Devils
49-24-9

26 SOG
34 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
ATL
NJD
game recap

Devils 2, Thrashers 1

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:51 AM

Associated Press

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Devils 2, Thrashers 1
Atlanta Thrashers 1, New Jersey Devils 2

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -Scott Gomez and the New Jersey Devils finally found a way to beat the Atlanta Thrashers.

Gomez and Sergei Brylin scored power-play goals 28 seconds apart in the third period to lead the Devils to a 2-1 win that snapped New Jersey's six-game losing streak against the Southeast Division-leading Thrashers.

"Everybody did a good job," Gomez said. "Especially against a team like Atlanta. They are the real deal. We had to prove to ourselves that we could beat that team."

Martin Brodeur made 25 saves, and New Jersey won for the fourth time in five games.

"They didn't give us much out there," Devils coach Claude Julien said. "We had to work for every inch we got. It was important for us to stay focused and stay patient. We were one shot away from getting back into the game."

The victory gave the Atlantic Division-leading Devils 56 points, pulling them even with the Thrashers for second place in the Eastern Conference.

Scott Mellanby scored for the Thrashers, who tied a season high with their fifth straight loss. Atlanta held the lead entering the third period in each of the last four defeats.

The Devils made the most of a 5-on-3 advantage, scoring the tying and winning goals against Kari Lehtonen during the power play.

Gomez tied it with 8:53 left on a play that began with Brian Rafalski taking a shot from the point. Lehtonen made the initial save, and Brian Gionta swiped at the rebound before Gomez knocked it in.

Brylin scored the go-ahead goal from the slot, converting a setup pass from Travis Zajac.

"New Jersey doesn't make too many mistakes and they have a good power play," Lehtonen said. "We had been doing a very good job against them but the third period was pretty bad for us with the penalties."

Atlanta's goal came late in the first period. Mellanby, who had missed 10 games with an upper body injury, celebrated his return by scoring at 17:12.

Mellanby deflected Ilya Kovalchuk's point shot over Brodeur just as an Atlanta power play expired.

"Scott is comparable to (Tomas) Holmstrom in Detroit and Gary Roberts in Florida," Thrashers coach Bob Hartley said. "They make a living in front of the net. They make it tough on the other team's defensemen and they make it tough on the goalies."

While officially an even-strength goal, the score capped an extended period of man-advantage time for the Thrashers. The Devils fell into penalty trouble when Brodeur was whistled for slashing Jon Sim at 12:44.

Brodeur put the Devils in an even deeper hole with a delay of game penalty that was whistled when he shot the puck over the glass 21 seconds later.

New Jersey did an excellent job of killing the 5-on-3, allowing only a shot by defenseman Greg de Vries.

The Devils' weary penalty killers were pressed back into action when Eric Rasmussen was called for holding the stick at 15:12. New Jersey killed that one, as well, but Mellanby scored before Rasmussen could rejoin the action.

The Devils pressed for the equalizer in the scoreless second period, outshooting the Thrashers 11-6. Lehtonen was equal to the task, frustrating New Jersey linemates Gomez and Patrik Elias, who combined for seven shots.

Notes: Devils D Colin White returned from an eight-game absence (groin). ... The Devils were still short-handed on defense with Johnny Oduya and Alex Brooks sidelined. New Jersey placed Brooks on the long-term injury list with a fractured foot and called up Andy Greene from Lowell (AHL). ... Thrashers D Braydon Coburn sustained cuts to his face during a second-period fight with Devils LW Mike Rupp and didn't return.

scoring summary
1st Period
17:12
ATL
Scott Mellanby (8) ASST: Ilya Kovalchuk (23), Vyacheslav Kozlov (29)
1 - 0 ATL
2nd Period
NONE
3rd Period
11:07
NJD
PPG - Scott Gomez (7) ASST: Brian Gionta (17), Brian Rafalski (27)
1 - 1 Tie
11:35
NJD
PPG - Sergei Brylin (10) ASST: Travis Zajac (15), Zach Parise (17)
2 - 1 NJD
penalty summary
1st Period
03:54
ATL
Vyacheslav Kozlov  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
12:44
NJD
Martin Brodeur  Slashing
13:05
NJD
Martin Brodeur  Delay of game
15:12
NJD
Erik Rasmussen  Holding the stick against  Greg De Vries
19:00
ATL
Braydon Coburn  Boarding against  Zach Parise
2nd Period
04:05
NJD
Mike Rupp  Fighting (maj) against  Braydon Coburn
04:05
ATL
Braydon Coburn  Fighting (maj) against  Mike Rupp
05:48
ATL
Greg De Vries  Interference against  Jamie Langenbrunner
10:50
NJD
Jim Dowd  Hooking
18:53
NJD
Colin White  Interference against  Bobby Holik
19:19
ATL
Marian Hossa  Interference against  Brian Rafalski
3rd Period
09:52
ATL
Garnet Exelby  Tripping against  Sergei Brylin
10:32
ATL
Bobby Holik  Hooking against  Scott Gomez
goalie stats
Kari Lehtonen
SA: 34TOI: 58:38
Saves: 32EV: 20 - 20
PIM: 0PP: 10 - 12
SV%: .941SH: 2 - 2
Martin Brodeur
SA: 26TOI: 60:00
Saves: 25EV: 24 - 25
PIM: 4PP: 1 - 1
SV%: .962SH: 0 - 0