Atlanta's first power-play opportunity had just expired when Hnidy gave the Thrashers a 3-2 lead 6:42 into the second. Hnidy, a solid defenseman who lacks the skills of frontliners such as Niclas Havelid, Greg de Vries or Vitaly Vishnevski, beat Martin Brodeur over the left shoulder with a wrister from outside the top of the right circle.
"New Jersey played a really controlled game," Havelid said. "We got in a quick hole, but we responded."
Kozlov's 13th goal came with 11:46 remaining after he took Marian Hossa's pass from behind the net and skated across the bottom of the slot.
Defensemen Paul Martin of New Jersey and Steve McCarthy of Atlanta both contributed to a first-period goal for the other team.
Martin was in the bottom of the slot when Bobby Holik's slap shot from the blue line bounced off his chest and made it 2-2 with 33 seconds left.
"There is not much difference between these two teams as far as performance and going against each other," Holik said. "After losing to Islanders, we had to go back to square one and regroup."
Brodeur, who finished with 22 saves, appeared to have his vision blocked on Holik's seventh goal.
"We turned the puck over," Brodeur said. "Sometimes you make mistakes, and when you make mistakes, you pay for it."
Ilya Kovalchuk's 20th goal, an empty-netter, ended the scoring with 26.7 seconds remaining.
Parise made it 1-0 after his slap shot bounced off McCarthy's leg and into the net at the 2:19 mark of the first.
"I thought we started the game off well," Devils coach Claude Julien said. "We seemed to have a good jump. The biggest issue tonight was the type of mistakes that we made. We kept giving them an opportunity to get back in the game, and at one point, they took the lead over and never looked back. We have nobody but ourselves to look at because we made some unacceptable mistakes here tonight."
"Two points always feels good," Lehtonen said. "We need to keep piling up the points."
McCarthy's fifth goal made it 1-1 at 6:05 of the first, and Parise scored his 14th goal six minutes later to give the Devils a 2-1 lead.
"I like our focus right now," Hartley said. "We are on the job and we take pride in what we are doing."
Patrik Elias, the Devils' captain and scoring leader, was a late scratch after taking a shot of his foot at Washington. ... Atlanta captain Scott Mellanby missed his second straight game after suffering a neck stinger in a shootout victory at New Jersey last Tuesday. ... Glen Metropolit and Havelid each had two assists for Atlanta. ... Martin finished with two assists for the Devils.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Philips Arena Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Referees: Dan O'Rourke, Justin St. Pierre Linesmen: Steve Barton, Derek Nansen
Attendance: 17,548 (94.6% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Zach Parise (14)
Assist: Paul Martin
Steve McCarthy (2)
Assists: Ilya Kovalchuk, Glen Metropolit
Zach Parise (14)
(Power Play) Assists: Mike Rupp, Paul Martin
Bobby Holik (8)
Assists: J.P. Vigier, Niclas Havelid