Series (Game 2 of 4)

New Jersey leads 3-1

Game 1: Friday, October 16th
Game 2: Saturday, December 19th
Game 3: Monday, December 28th
Game 4: Tuesday, April 6th

Devils 5

(25-8-1, 51 pts)

Jets 4

(18-13-3, 39 pts)

7:00 PM ET, December 19, 2009

Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia

1 2 3 T
NJ 1 3 15
WPG 3 0 14

D. McAmmond (Devils - LW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

N. Antropov (Jets - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

B. Rolston (Devils - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Devils-Thrashers Preview


Martin Brodeur still needs one shutout to break another NHL record. His chances of getting it in Atlanta would seem to be pretty good based on recent history.

However, Brodeur will lead the New Jersey Devils into Philips Arena on Saturday night to meet an offensive-minded Thrashers club that's scored 10 goals while winning two straight at home.

A four-time Vezina Trophy winner, Brodeur hasn't allowed a goal in his last 123 minutes, 20 seconds in Atlanta since Ilya Kovalchuk scored in a 6-5 win Oct. 13, 2007. The all-time wins leader turned aside 22 shots in a 3-0 victory Nov 23, 2007, before making 25 saves en route to a 1-0 win Oct. 16, 2008.

A certain Hall of Famer, Brodeur is 9-2-2 with two ties and a 2.10 goals-against average on the road against the Thrashers. Four of his six career shutouts when facing them have come in Atlanta.

Brodeur posted his 103rd career whitewash with a 3-0 win over Buffalo on Dec. 7 -- the Devils' most recent road game -- to tie Terry Sawchuk's long-standing league mark. Since then, he's surrendered 10 goals while going 4-1-0 on a five-game homestand that concluded Friday with a 4-2 win over Ottawa.

Brodeur, who recorded 27 saves and assisted on a goal by Jamie Langenbrunner, also broke Patrick Roy's record for regular-season appearances with his 1,030th.

"It's not as important as winning," Brodeur said. "The reason why I'm here is to win hockey games. But I guess it says a lot about being a good goalkeeper, staying around so long. People seem to make a lot more about it than I do. I guess you have to love the game to be able to stick around."

Last season, he also surpassed Roy's record 551 victories.

"As long as he wants to win, he's going to continue to own every record," Devils coach Jacques Lemaire said. "He's going to continue to pile up the wins."

The Devils, who are beginning a three-game swing featuring tough matchups against Pittsburgh and Washington, own a league-best 11-2-1 road record. However, they could be tested by a team that simply refused to give up the last time it took the ice.

The Thrashers yielded the tying goal in 1:12 to play in regulation, but defeated Dallas 6-5 on Thursday when Rich Peverley scored his second goal of the night 76 seconds into overtime. His short-handed score midway through the third period gave Atlanta a 5-4 lead.

Peverley is tied with Maxim Afinogenov for second on the club with 12 goals, but leads the NHL with six game-winning tallies.

Kovalchuk, who needs one goal to reach 20 for the eighth straight season, liked what he saw from his teammates.

"Pevs, he gave us some big goals with the short-handed goal and then in OT when Maxy gave him a great pass and he scored," Kovalchuk told the Thrashers' official Web site. "It's nice to see those guys scoring."

Atlanta (18-12-3) got 42 saves from Ondrej Pavelec, who earned his first win since Nov. 27 and likely will start this game.

"That's a hard working guy and he never gives up. It's great to play for that kind of goaltender," Kovalchuk said of the rookie, who has shared time with veteran Johan Hedberg while Kari Lehtonen continues to recover from two back surgeries.

Peverley scored two power-play goals in Atlanta's 4-2 win at New Jersey (24-8-1) on Oct. 16. Brodeur finished with 15 saves while Pavelec stopped 28 shots.