Friday, January 12, 2007


Postgame: Devils 2 - Atlanta 1

The New Jersey Devils defeated the Atlanta Thrashers by a score of 2 to 1. has the official score sheet and the official super stats, respectively linked.

Finally. After 6 straight games, the Devils finally beat the Atlanta Thrashers.

The Devils started off the game a bit slowly and undisciplined. Two straight minor penalties by Martin Brodeur gave the Atlanta Thrashers a two man advantage. The Devils penalty killers did a great job tonight, just for killing that alone. A two man advantage against a team featuring Ilya Kovalchuk and Marian Hossa is not wise in any sense of the word. Unfortunately, Erik Rasmussen holds an Atlanta stick almost right after those penalties were killed. The Thrashers score just after that penalty ended, as Scott Mellanby tipped an Ilya Kovalchuk slap shot. Incidentally, on, there is an article by John Kreiser focusing on the Devils exceptional discipline. They surely did not show that tonight. They would take two more penalties later on in the game. Thankfully, the penalty killers did a good job killing all the penalties despite the Mellanby goal, which was just technically after the Rasmussen penalty ended.

As the game went on, the Devils offense started putting more shots on Kari Lehtonen and pressuring him to make big saves. In the first half of the game, things looked like it would be a repeat of the St. Louis game: a lot of blocked shots - and there were by Atlanta, they blocked 18 of New Jersey's shots. Nevertheless, the Devils remained patient and kept pressing. It took a two man advantage given up by Atlanta in the third period before Scott Gomez put home a big rebound to tie the game up. That ended Garnet Exelby's tripping penalty, and Sergei Brylin capped off a wonderful breakout play with a powerful shot off a sweet diving tip-pass by Travis Zajac. That, of course, resulted in a goal which ended up being the game winner. And the Devils FINALLY beat Atlanta.

Some other things I would like to point out:
The Devils earned their win tonight, but they can't celebrate. They already have another game to play. The Devils will travel to Long Island to take on the New York Islanders, another team that seemingly knows what to do to make things difficult for the Devils. Still, good win by the Devils.


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