NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at Atlanta
(Tuesday, April 6th)
Final Score: New Jersey 3, Atlanta 0
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Martin Brodeur notched 19 saves for his 600th career win and second straight shutout as the New Jersey Devils took a 3-0 win over the Thrashers in Ilya Kovalchuk's first appearance in Atlanta as an opponent.
Kovalchuk was traded to the Devils on February 4 after spending his entire career with Atlanta, but it was Brodeur who stole the show in the game as he notched his ninth shutout of the season and 110th shutout of his career. On Saturday, he stopped 26 shots in a 4-0 win over Carolina.
"As nice as No. 599 cause a win is a win," said Brodeur. "It's definitely a nice number, but I'm happy for us and especially Kovy to win the game for them and him."
Travis Zajac, Dean McAmmond and Zach Parise each had a goal for the Devils, who have won their past two and now hold a two-point lead over Pittsburgh for first place in the Atlantic Division and second overall in the Eastern Conference. Pittsburgh lost to Washington, 6-3, on Tuesday. Both teams have three games to play.
"I was a little over anxious, but not nervous," said Kovalchuk. "It was kind of a weird feeling to play against the team you played with for so long, but I'm glad we won."
Johan Hedberg stopped 24 shots as the Thrashers lost their third game in a row and saw their fledgling playoff hopes come to an end as Philadelphia's win over Toronto eliminated them from the playoffs.
"It's very disappointing to say the least," said Atlanta head coach John Anderson. "But our guys played their best and it wasn't from lack of trying. I'm very proud of all of them and very proud to coach this group of guys. We're still growing as a team and this season has been a learning experience."
The Devils got on the board with 4:32 to play in the first period. McAmmond skated the puck into the zone and left a drop pass at the right circle for Dainius Zubrus. McAmmond then skated to the left side and redirected Zubrus' pass into the net.
Brodeur stopped eight shots in the opening frame to keep Atlanta off the board.
Just 51 seconds into the middle stanza, Paul Martin blasted a shot from the right point that Parise tipped past Hedberg for his 37th goal of the year.
Brodeur turned aside nine shots in the middle stanza to keep the shutout going.
New Jersey struck quickly in the third stanza when Zajac grabbed the puck in the Atlanta end and wristed a shot from the right circle that found its way between the pads of Hedberg for a 3-0 lead just 10 seconds in.
Brodeur needed to stop just two shots in the final stanza.
New Jersey plays its final road game of the season in Florida on Thursday...Atlanta plays in Washington on Friday in its final road game of the campaign...The Devils took three of four against Atlanta this season...Brodeur has seven shutouts in his career versus the Thrashers.
04/06 22:30:28 ET