for this game

Elias lifts slumping Devils past Thrashers

Oct 14, 2007 - 3:58 AM
By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Not even a visit from the reeling New Jersey Devils could snap the Atlanta Thrashers out of their season-long slump.

Patrik Elias snapped a tie with 28 seconds remaining in the third period with his second goal of the game and Travis Zajac recorded a tally and two assists as the Devils edged the listless Thrashers, 6-5, on Saturday.

Entering the contest, the defending Southeast Division champion Thrashers - who garnered 97 points en route to their first division crown - were the only NHL team without a win, netting just four goals through their first four games.

In this one, the Thrashers hosted the road-weary Devils, who gave Tampa Bay and Florida their first wins this season. Nevertheless, the losing continued for Atlanta.

With the game tied at 5-5, Atlanta defenseman Garnet Exelby drew a costly holding penalty with 1:45 remaining in the third, giving New Jersey its seventh power play of the night.

Elias took advantage when his slap shot from just inside the blue line sailed past goaltender Kari Lehtonen 77 seconds later to give the Devils the lead.

"I liked (the way) we were playing," Elias said. "One minute and a half to go, (we had) a big power play that worked out. Tonight, I got lucky. Luck turned on my side a little bit."

Atlanta had just three shots in the decisive third period, including one by defenseman Tobias Enstrom that trickled past Martin Brodeur with 18 seconds remaining. But the alert netminder grabbed the dancing puck before it tricked over the goal line.

"It's not disheartening," Thrashers captain - and former Devil - Bobby Holik said of the loss. "We let the game get away from us because we stopped playing. It's one thing to lose a game when you try to make plays, but after the first 30 minutes, we stopped controlling the puck.

"If you want to win the game, everyone has to take control of their own game, whether it comes to taking a hit, blocking a shot or holding onto the puck. We thought we had a two-goal lead and put it in cruise control."

Atlanta found itself with its first lead of the season when Exelby snapped a 2-2 tie with a slap shot from just inside the blue line that sailed through traffic and past Brodeur at 7:26 of the second period.

Holik lifted a wrister from the slot by Brodeur 62 seconds later to give the Thrashers a two-goal lead.

But the advantage could not be held as the Devils scored the next three goals as the Thrashers' offense went silent.

Jay Pandolfo scored on a rebound with 12 seconds left in the middle period to cut the deficit to 4-3. Just over three minutes into the third, Zajac took advantage of a defensive miscue and beat Lehtonen with a wrister to tie the game.

From his knees, Sergei Brylin followed with a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle that beat Lehtonen at 12:05 to give New Jersey a 5-4 lead.

"The guys didn't get down (when they were down 4-2) and they stayed with the game plan, and it really showed," Devils coach Brent Sutter said. "I thought we played a pretty solid hockey game tonight."

Ilya Kovalchuk tied the contest with a slap shot from left circle with 3:20 remaining.

The win was the second in five games for New Jersey, which is in the midst of a franchise-record nine-game road trip to start the season as construction workers put the finishing touches on the Prudential Center, the Devils' new home in Newark which will be christened by the rock band Bon Jovi on October 25.

The Devils will host the Ottawa Senators in their first home game two days later.

"It's a big win," Brodeur said. "Now we're halfway through (the road trip). There's four more (until we come home)."

John Madden scored a power-play tally at 1:46 of the first period to give the Devils a 1-0 lead. But it was short-lived as Darren Haydar took a backhand pass from rookie Bryan Little and rifled a shot past Brodeur 35 seconds later to knot the game at 1-1.

It was the first NHL goal for the 27-year-old Haydar, who was the American Hockey League's top scorer last season with 122 points.

"We didn't win the game," Haydar said. "I'd rather have two points and a team win than a goal for myself."

Elias redirected Zajac's shot with his lower body from in front of the net to give New Jersey a 2-1 edge at 18:05 of the first period. But Kovalchuk tied the game with a wrister from left circle on the power play 22 seconds into the middle session.

Lehtonen turned aside 29 shots in suffering his fourth loss of the season.

Brodeur made just 12 saves for the Devils, who beat the Thrashers in Atlanta for the first time since the 2003-04 campaign.






  • 35
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    Devils vs. ThrashersOct 14 10:17 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 2 1 3 6
    ATLANTA 1 3 1 5 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NJD - (PP) JOHN MADDEN 3 (DAINIUS ZUBRUS, ARRON ASHAM) 1:46
    ATL - DARREN HAYDAR 1 (BRYAN LITTLE, BRETT STERLING) 2:21
    NJD - (PP) PATRIK ELIAS 1 (TRAVIS ZAJAC, ZACH PARISE) 18:05
    2ND PRD: ATL - (SH) ILYA KOVALCHUK 2 (V

    Oct 13 9:40 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 6
    ATLANTA 5 0:00 LEFT, 3RD PRD

    Oct 13 9:39 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 6
    ATLANTA 5
    3RD PRD: NJD - (PP) PATRIK ELIAS 2 (PAUL MARTIN, ZACH PARISE) 19:33

    Devils vs. ThrashersOct 13 9:38 PM
  • 30
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    RUWTbot Took away 52 roots (Close Finish)

    Devils vs. ThrashersOct 13 9:38 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 5
    ATLANTA 5
    3RD PRD: ATL - ILYA KOVALCHUK 3 (TODD WHITE) 16:40

    Devils vs. ThrashersOct 13 9:35 PM
  • 82
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 72 roots (Close Finish)

    Devils vs. ThrashersOct 13 9:35 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 5
    ATLANTA 4
    3RD PRD: NJD - SERGEI BRYLIN 1 (TRAVIS ZAJAC) 12:05

    Devils vs. ThrashersOct 13 9:22 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 4
    ATLANTA 4
    3RD PRD: NJD - TRAVIS ZAJAC 1 (PATRIK ELIAS, BRIAN GIONTA) 3:04

    Devils vs. ThrashersOct 13 9:07 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 2 1 3
    ATLANTA 1 3 4 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NJD - (PP) JOHN MADDEN 3 (DAINIUS ZUBRUS, ARRON ASHAM) 1:46
    ATL - DARREN HAYDAR 1 (BRYAN LITTLE, BRETT STERLING) 2:21
    NJD - (PP) PATRIK ELIAS 1 (TRAVIS ZAJAC, ZACH PARISE) 18:05
    2ND PRD: ATL - (SH) ILYA K

    Oct 13 8:44 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 3
    ATLANTA 4
    2ND PRD: NJD - JAY PANDOLFO 1 (PAUL MARTIN, JOHN MADDEN) 19:41

    Devils vs. ThrashersOct 13 8:43 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 2
    ATLANTA 4
    2ND PRD: ATL - BOBBY HOLIK 1 (ERIC BOULTON, NICLAS HAVELID) 8:28

    Devils vs. ThrashersOct 13 8:25 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 2
    ATLANTA 3
    2ND PRD: ATL - GARNET EXELBY 1 (DARREN HAYDAR, BOBBY HOLIK) 7:26

    Devils vs. ThrashersOct 13 8:19 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 2
    ATLANTA 2
    2ND PRD: ATL - (SH) ILYA KOVALCHUK 2 (VYACHESLAV KOZLOV, ALEXEI
    ZHITNIK) 0:22

    Devils vs. ThrashersOct 13 8:09 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NEW JERSEY 2 2
    ATLANTA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NJD - (PP) JOHN MADDEN 3 (DAINIUS ZUBRUS, ARRON ASHAM) 1:46
    ATL - DARREN HAYDAR 1 (BRYAN LITTLE, BRETT STERLING) 2:21
    NJD - (PP) PATRIK ELIAS 1 (TRAVIS ZAJAC, ZACH PARISE) 18:05
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST

    Oct 13 7:48 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 2
    ATLANTA 1
    1ST PRD: NJD - (PP) PATRIK ELIAS 1 (TRAVIS ZAJAC, ZACH PARISE) 18:05

    Devils vs. ThrashersOct 13 7:47 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 1
    ATLANTA 1
    1ST PRD: ATL - DARREN HAYDAR 1 (BRYAN LITTLE, BRETT STERLING) 2:21

    Devils vs. ThrashersOct 13 7:17 PM


  • NHL
    NEW JERSEY 1
    ATLANTA 0
    1ST PRD: NJD - (PP) JOHN MADDEN 3 (DAINIUS ZUBRUS, ARRON ASHAM) 1:46

    Devils vs. ThrashersOct 13 7:17 PM
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    Evvewa Added 5 roots

    Devils vs. ThrashersOct 13 3:15 PM
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    six4three Added 5 roots

    Devils vs. ThrashersOct 13 10:25 AM