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

24 SOG
29 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
ATL
NJD
game recap

Thrashers 4, Devils 0

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:51 AM

Associated Press

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Thrashers 4, Devils 0
Atlanta Thrashers 4, New Jersey Devils 0

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -John Anderson and the Atlanta Thrashers hope a road shutout victory propels the struggling team to better things.

Ilya Kovalchuk had a goal and an assist, and Kari Lehtonen made 29 saves for his first shutout of the season in the Thrashers' 4-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night.

"To come in here against a team like New Jersey, that plays so consistently good and are so big and strong, to win like that, we really needed that," said Anderson, the Thrashers' coach. "I now know that there is a pulse in our room, that they do care. I appreciate that."

Colby Armstrong, Jim Slater and Marty Reasoner also scored for the Thrashers, 2-4-1 in their last seven games.

It was the Thrashers' first shutout of the season. For Lehtonen, it was his 12th career shutout and first against the Devils.

Kovalchuk, added Thursday to the Eastern Conference team for the NHL All-Star game, lived up to the billing with key contributions in Atlanta's three-goal second period.

"It's always nice to get a win," Kovalchuk said. "Hopefully in the second half of the season we will get way more points than we did in the first half. This was a total team effort. Guys were fighting to finish checks, and Kari gave us a hell of a game."

Lehtonen also had a star turn to preserve the win, coming up with a big pad stop on Brian Rolston's breakaway bid in the scoreless first period.

New Jersey, which had won five of the previous six games against Atlanta, suffered its fourth shutout of the season, all at home.

Armstrong opened the scoring at 3:03 of the second, chipping a shot into the slot that dribbled through Devils goalie Scott Clemmensen.

Kovalchuk upped the lead to 2-0 with a power-play blast from the high slot at 5:31. He later nudged the puck ahead to create the 2-on-1 break for Slater and Chris Thorburn that Slater polished off at the 14-minute mark.

Clemmensen, making his 13th straight start for the Devils, was yanked after allowing three goals on 19 shots through two periods.

"It was a coach's decision," Clemmensen said about the benching. "The way the game was going at that point, there was very little room for argument."

Kevin Weekes took over in the third, and was victimized on the first shot he faced when Reasoner made it 4-0 at 2:09.

Devils coach Brent Sutter was at a loss to find a single positive, admitting it was New Jersey's poorest effort of the season.

"You guys saw it as well I did," Sutter said. "I feel bad for anybody who had to come and watch that."

Notes: The Devils head out on a six-game trip that starts in Los Angeles against the Kings on Saturday. They return on Jan. 21 to host Montreal before playing two more on the road in Ottawa and Boston. ... Devils D Colin White returned after missing five games with an upper-body injury. With White back, the Devils scratched Jay Leach. ... Each team had a forward named Thursday as a reserve for the All-Star game: Kovalchuk for the Thrashers and Zach Parise for the Devils. ... C Bryan Little, the Thrashers' leading goal scorer with 19, missed his second straight game because of a rib injury.

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
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