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Elias scores with 27 seconds left to help Devils beat winless Thrashers 6-5

NHL.com @NHL

ATLANTA - Patrik Elias scored two goals, including a power-play one with 27 seconds left to help the New Jersey Devils beat the winless Atlanta Thrashers 6-5 on Saturday night.

Ilya Kovalchuk's second goal of the game with 3:20 left in the third period tied the game at 5-5. Garnet Exelby was then called for a holding penalty, allowing the Devils to play with a man-advantage.

Elias then scored the game-winner to help goalie Martin Brodeur earn his first victory of the season.

The Thrashers' five goals topped their total in being outscored 17-4 in their first four losses, but their reward was another loss. Atlanta is the only NHL team without a win.

Trailing 4-2, midway through the second period, the Devils rallied on goals by Jay Pandolfo, and Travis Zajac.

Sergei Brylin broke the tie with a tip-in. Atlanta goaltender Kari Lehtonen tried to cover the puck in the crease, but the puck slipped away from his glove and Brylin was in position for the go-ahead shot 12:05 into the third period.

Atlanta scored three unanswered goals to open the second period, but its best offensive showing of the season was overwhelmed by New Jersey's comeback.

Atlanta placed itself in position for its first win with a strong second period.

Kovalchuk scored on a power play only 22 seconds into the second period, and Exelby and Bobby Holik added goals.

Exelby's goal 7:26 into the period gave Atlanta its first lead of the season at 3-2. Holik followed with his first goal as the Thrashers' captain.

Pandolfo's rebound goal with only 18.9 seconds left in the period cut the lead to 4-3.

A backhander by Zajac early in the third period pulled New Jersey even at 4-4.

The Devils opened strong, scoring first on a tip-in by John Madden less than two minutes into the game. After rookie Darren Haydar answered for Atlanta with his first NHL goal, New Jersey took a 2-1 lead on a tip-in by Elias.

The Thrashers had four shots on goal in the first five minutes but none the rest of the first period.

Notes: Kovalchuk's first goal was only Atlanta's second in 20 power-play opportunities this season. ... New Jersey won for only the second time in its last nine games against Atlanta. ... F Marian Hossa (groin) missed his third straight game but hopes to return Tuesday night at Philadelphia. ... Devils coach Brent Sutter was on the bench after missing Friday's practice with an illness.

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