NHL Game Summary - Atlanta at New Jersey
(Friday, January 12th)
Final Score: New Jersey 2, Atlanta 1
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Scott Gomez and Sergei Brylin's third- period tallies lifted the New Jersey Devils to a 2-1 win over the Atlanta Thrashers at Continental Airlines Arena.
Brian Gionta, Brian Rafalski, Travis Zajac and Zach Parise picked up one assist each, while Martin Brodeur stopped 25 shots for the Devils, who have won four of their last five games.
Scott Mellanby tallied the only goal for the Thrashers, losers of five consecutive contests. Kari Lehtonen picked up the loss despite his 32-save performance.
"It's kind of sad, but these last few games we've been leading after two periods, and we end up getting no points," said Lehtonen.
The win halted New Jersey's six-game losing streak against the Southeast Division leaders, stretching back to March, 2004.
After Lehtonen's stellar play through two-and-a-half periods, two quick tallies took the wind out of Atlanta's sails and gave the home club a hard- fought victory.
Gomez finally broke through for Jersey at 11:07 of the third period, knocking home a rebound from his position at the right side of the net, then Brylin scored off a lightning-quick feed from a diving Zajac 28 seconds later, and the pair of power-play goals gave the Devils their first lead of the night.
The Devils responded by gamely holding off their offensive-minded opponents, and Brodeur held up his end of the bargain by stopping all 14 shots sent his way in the final 20 minutes.
"What can you say it was a team effort, everyone did a good job, coming back in the third and getting that monkey off our back," Gomez said.
In his first game back from injury, Mellanby got credit for Atlanta's opening goal of the night with 2:48 left in the first. The Thrashers' captain tipped home Ilya Kovalchuk's fluttering shot from the slot just as their third power play of the period expired.
Despite the loss, Atlanta has won seven of the last nine meetings...Mellanby's goal was his eighth of the season...Atlanta failed to click on their five man- advantage opportunities, while New Jersey connected on 2-of-5.
01/12 23:48:24 ET