hopes to have a better showing tonight than he did in his last meeting with the Thrashers. He was pulled after allowing three goals on six shots in the first period at Atlanta on Dec. 19. The Devils fell behind 3-1 before rebounding with four straight tallies for a 5-4 win.
New Jersey's also looking to shake off Saturday’s 4-1 defeat in Washington. Brodeur will be making his 16th consecutive start and 23rd straight appearance.
“I think it’s important when you have a tough game to try and bounce back with a better one,” he said. “It’s going to be a challenge against a team that’s played us pretty well in the two games we’ve played. Definitely going to have to have our ‘A’ game and bounce back. We’ve done well doing that all year, but again it’s another challenge for us to get it done.”
Head coach Jacques Lemaire doesn’t underestimate Atlanta’s offense, which is led by Ilya Kovalchuk
’s 22 goals and 41 points. The Thrashers are second in the Southeast Division with 40 points.
“Atlanta is a team that plays a game where sometimes, not much is going on for them, and then they make one play – just one play – and they’re leading 1-0,” said the coach. “It’s an explosive team. Against them, you really have to pay attention to details. It could be a long pass. It could be a one-timer from one side to the other side. It’s things like that that change the game for them. They’re capable of doing this, and they do it game after game.”
Tonight is the third meeting between the teams this season. The Thrashers topped the Devils, 4-2, in New Jersey on Oct. 16.