NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at Atlanta|
(Friday, March 11th)
Final Score: New Jersey 3, Atlanta 2 (OT)
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Travis Zajac's second goal of the game, a power
play tally in the final minute of overtime, lifted the New Jersey Devils to a
3-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena.
Ilya Kovalchuk also scored on the man advantage for the Devils, who continued
their playoff push with their fifth victory in the last six games. Martin
Brodeur made 24 saves, including four in the extra period, when New Jersey
killed off a Thrashers power play.
"We're pretty far out still, but I think we've come a long way," Brodeur said.
"We just take it game by game right now. Take it step by step, and hopefully
we get to that point or game where it's doable."
Blake Wheeler and Dustin Byfuglien lit the lamp for Atlanta, which had won its
last two games. Ondrej Pavelec turned aside 27 shots.
"It's good we got a point, but if you want to make the playoffs, you have to
win those games," Pavelec said.
At the 1:34 mark of overtime, New Jersey's Mark Fayne was called for tripping,
but the Devils held on for two minutes while Atlanta tried to take advantage
of the extra attacker.
The Thrashers' Evander Kane was then whistled for tripping with 1:06 to play,
and New Jersey cashed in.
Kovalchuk set up the goal with a pass through the slot to Patrik Elias at the
bottom of the right circle. Elias stopped the puck with his skate in order to
send a quick cross-ice pass to Zajac.
Zajac didn't get much of a shot off, as the disc hit his stick blade and
bounced toward the open net. But the puck had enough distance and speed to
drift across the goal line with 42 seconds left, before Pavelec could shift
Wheeler opened the scoring at 10:14 of the second period, with a wrister from
the right circle. Zajac answered during a 5-on-3 power play a little more than
two minutes later, when he stuffed in a rebound from the left side.
Byfuglien put Atlanta back on top with a power-play point blast nearly five
minutes into the third period. But an opportunistic Kovalchuk skated toward
the net and deposited a wrister at 7:51.
New Jersey was 3-for-6 on the power play, while Atlanta went 1-for-4...Elias
finished with two assists, as did the Thrashers' Bryan Little...The Devils
have allowed two goals or fewer in 15 consecutive games.
03/11 23:12:22 ET