NHL Preview from The Sports Network |
Friday, February 27th
(All times eastern)
Atlanta Thrashers (24-32-6-2) at New Jersey Devils (33-17-11-1), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The New Jersey Devils seek their fourth straight win
tonight when they welcome the Atlanta Thrashers to the Meadowlands.
Jersey, which is 5-1-1 in its last seven games overall, continued to try and
make up ground in the Atlantic Division race. With 78 points, the Devils are
five behind first-place Philadelphia in the standings. Pat Burns' club sits
sixth in the Eastern Conference -- two behind Toronto and Boston.
On Wednesday, Patrik Elias scored two goals and assisted on three others,
leading the Devils to an 8-2 rout of the Buffalo Sabres at the Meadowlands.
Jay Pandolfo and Brian Gionta each chipped in two goals for the Devils, while
Brian Rafalski and Jeff Friesen also scored in the victory. New Jersey's eight
goals marked a season high, topping the seven the team scored last weekend
against the New York Rangers.
Martin Brodeur made 20 saves to earn his 30th victory of the season, making
him the first goaltender in NHL history to record 30 wins in nine consecutive
years. Recently-retired Patrick Roy shared the record of eight straight 30-
win seasons with Brodeur.
Elias has two goals in each of his last three games and 11 points in that
span. Scott Gomez had three assists, and has 12 in his last five outings.
On the milestone watch, Devils coach Burns will coach his 1,000th NHL game
tonight. He'll become only the 11th coach in league history to do so.
The Devils, 4-0-1 in their last five home games, will visit Toronto on
Saturday to kick off a five-game road trip.
Atlanta, meanwhile, has lost two straight, including Wednesday's 4-2 loss to
visiting Tampa Bay. Vincent Lecavalier scored twice to lead the Lightning.
Ben Simon and Marc Savard each scored for the Thrashers, who fell despite
twice coming back to tie the score. Pasi Nurminen stopped 30 of the 33 shots
he faced in the loss.
Thrashers' sniper Ilya Kovalchuk had a four-game goal-scoring streak ended,
and remains tied with Columbus' Rick Nash for the league lead with 33 tallies.
Atlanta, which has lost three of its last five away from home, will host the
NY Rangers on Sunday.
The Devils are 2-0 against Atlanta this season, and is 12-3-3 in the all-time
02/27 12:41:36 ET