New Jersey Devils coach Brent Sutter believes his team's mistakes can be corrected. Facing the Atlanta Thrashers gives the club a good chance to gain some confidence.
Losers of three straight, the Devils look to saddle the Thrashers with their sixth consecutive defeat when the teams continue their season series Saturday night.
New Jersey (5-2-2) is 0-1-2 since beating Dallas 5-0 on Oct. 22, and got an uncharacteristically poor performance from goaltender Martin Brodeur in a 6-5 shootout loss to Toronto on Wednesday night.
"We've just gotten away from our game," Sutter told the Devils' official Web site. "We've gotten away from the identity of our team, and it's showing. It's showing in our play ... in our shots against. It's showing in our quality shots. It's showing in a lot of things. (But) it's certainly correctable."
Brodeur and New Jersey have an excellent chance to bounce back against the Thrashers (2-6-2). Brodeur made 25 saves in a 1-0 win at Atlanta on Oct. 16, and the Devils have earned at least a point in seven straight games versus the Thrashers, going 5-0-2.
Brodeur has started each of those contests, posting a 2.07 goals-against average and two shutouts.
Atlanta's six points are second-fewest in the NHL behind the New York Islanders' five, and the Thrashers have given up 20 goals en route to losing their last four games - all in regulation.
After matching a season high with five goals versus the Maple Leafs, New Jersey will try to take advantage of Atlanta's porous defense.
The Devils got goals from David Clarkson, Dainius Zubrus, Jamie Langenbrunner, Colin White and Zach Parise. Langenbrunner was considered doubtful but returned after missing one game with a leg injury, scoring his second goal in three contests.
Parise scored his team-high seventh goal and fifth in as many games. The winger has scored in all but two games this season.
Atlanta's defense improved somewhat in its latest lost, 3-2 against the New York Rangers on Thursday night.
Kari Lehtonen bounced back from the Thrashers' 7-0 home loss to Philadelphia on Tuesday night, in which he allowed all the goals on 31 shots. He finished with 30 saves Thursday, but Atlanta lost its fifth straight (0-4-1).
"We have to start finding ways to win," coach John Anderson said. "We don't want to find ourselves so far behind the eight-ball we can't climb out of the deep hole we're digging."
But Atlanta needs to find a way to shore up its defense. Losing Zach Bogosian, the No. 3 overall pick in this year's draft, to a broken left leg won't help.
A spokesman for the team said Thursday the injury won't require surgery, but Bogosian has been placed on injured reserve. Bogosian was hurt when he was slammed into the boards against the Flyers.
On offense, meanwhile, Atlanta was held to two goals against the Rangers and has been shut out twice this season.
Slava Kozlov and Bryan Little scored Thursday for the Thrashers, and Todd White had two assists. Kozlov has two goals and two assists in his last three games.