NHL Game Summary - New Jersey at Atlanta
(Thursday, December 18th)
Final Score: New Jersey 3, Atlanta 0
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Martin Brodeur made 15 saves for his league- best eighth shutout of the season, leading the New Jersey Devils to a 3-0 victory over the punchless Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena.
Rob Skrlac scored his first NHL goal for New Jersey, which bounced back from a 5-4 loss to the Islanders on Tuesday and improved to 5-1-1 in its last seven. Colin White and Scott Gomez also scored in the victory.
The Thrashers, meanwhile, were shut out for the third straight game and saw their scoreless streak reach 182 minutes and 24 seconds. Atlanta had scored 20 goals in winning four consecutive outings before the recent slide.
Pasi Nurminen made 35 saves and kept the Thrashers in it until midway through the third period.
The Devils nursed a 1-0 lead into the final stanza and scored twice in a span of 2:11 to open a three-goal margin.
White scored his second goal of the season at the 7:51 mark. Igor Larionov won a faceoff in the left circle and drew it back to White, who rifled a shot from the left point past Nurminen on the stick side.
Gomez then made it 3-0 just past the midway point of the period. Tommy Albelin took a shot from the left point, but Gomez knocked the puck down in the slot and slipped a backhander past Nurminen, who came well out of the crease to play Albelin's shot.
Brodeur stopped just five shots in the first period and turned aside seven in the second. He then faced only three shots in the third period to complete his 72nd career shutout.
The Devils dominated a scoreless first period, outshooting Atlanta 13-5, then scored the opening goal at 8:50 of the second stanza.
Scott Stevens kept the puck in at the point and backhanded a pass into the left circle for Erik Rasmussen, who skated into the slot and sent a backhander on net. Nurminen was screened by Skrlac and the puck deflected off the rookie, playing just his second game, before going past the netminder.
Atlanta hasn't scored since late in the third period of a December 12 victory over Pittsburgh...Atlanta sniper Ilya Kovalchuk has not scored a goal in his last eight games...New Jersey improved to 11-3-3 all-time against the Thrashers...The road team is 5-0-2 in the last seven matchups.
12/18 22:18:23 ET