NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at Atlanta |
(Friday, March 26th)
Final Score: New Jersey 5, Atlanta 0
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Scott Gomez scored twice and assisted on
another goal to lead the New Jersey Devils to an easy 5-0 win over the Atlanta
Thrashers at Philips Arena.
Patrik Elias also factored in three goals with a goal and two assists for the
Devils, who moved two points closer to fourth-place Toronto in the Eastern
Conference playoff race. New Jersey, now with 94 points, is two points out of
the all-important fourth spot, but idle Ottawa still sits in fifth with 95
Scott Clemmensen recorded his second shutout in only four starts this season
as the Devils rested starting netminder Martin Brodeur for the stretch run.
Had Brodeur played, it would have been a relatively easy night anyway as the
Thrashers managed just 18 shots on goal.
"We responded very well tonight," said New Jersey head coach Pat Burns. "We
kept our cool and responded when we had to."
Pasi Nurminen allowed five goals on the 32 shots he faced for the Thrashers,
who lost for just the second time in seven games (4-1-1-1). Atlanta played an
extremely undisciplined game, taking a total of 17 penalties that led to 11
New Jersey power plays.
"It was not one of our best games," said Atlanta coach Bob Hartley. "From the
first drop of the puck, we basically never gave ourselves a chance to be in
The Devils struck first on Elias' 36th tally of the season at the 4:28 mark of
the opening period, just 12 seconds into a man advantage. Elias was at the
lower right circle when he one-timed a pass from Ray Giroux behind Nurminen
for the early 1-0 lead.
Gomez made it 2-0 with 3:59 left in the period when he easily slammed home the
rebound of a Brian Gionta blast from the right circle.
Atlanta, already looking flat, didn't help its cause as the Thrashers wound up
two men down early in the second stanza after an Andy Sutton charging major
and an elbowing call to Shawn McEachern.
New Jersey was unable to capitalize on the 5-on-3 advantage but an
unsportsmanlike conduct call against Thrashers head coach Bob Hartley late in
the second resulted in the Devils' third goal.
Just 24 seconds into the power play, Gomez was able to get a piece of a low
wrist shot from the point by Scott Niedermayer for his 12th of the campaign,
to send the Devils into the second intermission with a commanding 3-0 lead.
"There were certainly frustrations, but you still have to be able to control
your frustration," added Hartley. "You can't let frustration control you."
The Thrashers had two power plays and registered eight shots in the third
frame, not including two shots in the last five minutes that rang off the
post, giving a good indication of how the night went for Atlanta.
The Devils then added a pair of power-play goals in the final two-plus minutes
to put the exclamation point on the victory.
Paul Martin beat Nurminen with a wrist shot from the slot with 2:08 remaining
before Sergei Brylin capped the scoring with 11 seconds to play with an assist
"We had one 5-on-3 and it was a disaster," Burns said. "The next one, we came
out and did what we were supposed to do -- get the puck in the net."
Atlanta has won just four of the last 20 meetings between the two clubs,
including a 1-3 mark this year...New Jersey netted four goals on the power
play, while the Thrashers were scoreless in four chances with the extra
skater...Clemmensen blanked Pittsburgh with 25 saves on January 20 in his
first start of the season...The Devils did not allow a goal in the two
meetings at Philips Arena this season. Brodeur shutout Atlanta 3-0 on December
03/26 23:58:59 ET