Devils 2010-2011 Schedule Preview – Atlanta Thrashers
Throughout the offseason, The Devils’ Den will preview the Devils 2010-2011 schedule, giving you an in-depth preview of the 29 other teams the Devils will face next season. We’ve already completed several previews, all of which can be found under the “Season Preview” tab. In today’s second preview, we stay in the Eastern Conference, taking a look at this season’s matchup with the Atlanta Thrashers.
Thrashers vs. Devils – Historical Data
In 40 all-time regular season meetings, the Devils have dominated the Thrashers, with their record at 23-9-3-5. The Devils average 3.25 goals against Atlanta and allow 2.23 goals against. In four meetings last season, the Devils went 3-1-0 against the Thrashers.
The Thrashers won the first game of the season series, 4-2, October 16 at the Prudential Center. Travis Zajac opened the scoring, giving the Devils a lead, 1-0, at 8:07 of the second period. Rich Peverley tied the game, 1-1, netting a powerplay goal at 14:57 of the second. Atlanta would take the lead in the third period, with Evander Kane putting the Thrashers ahead, 2-1, at 1:36 of the third. Peverley would score another powerplay goal, extending the lead, 4-2, at 5:55 of the period. Zach Parise cut the lead to one, netting an even-strength goal at 13:10 to cut the lead to 3-2. Chris Thorburn would score the game’s last goal, tallying a shorthanded goal to double the lead and put the Thrashers ahead, 4-2.
The Devils won the second game, 5-4, on December 19 in Atlanta. Ron Hainsey scored the game’s first goal, giving the Thrashers alead, 1-0, at 7:15 of the first period. Rob Niedermayer tied the game at one with an even-strength tally at 12:55 of the period. Atlanta jumped ahead again, with Nik Antropov giving Atlanta the lead, 2-1, at 14:30 of the first. Pavel Kubina extended the lead, putting Atlanta ahead, 3-1, with an even-strength gal at 17:14 of the first period. Those three first period goals chased Martin Brodeur, but the Devils wouldn’t quit with their star goalie on the bench.
Brian Rolston cut the Thrashers’ lead to 3-2 with an even-strength goal at 2:46 of the second period. The Devils tied it up at 6:12, with Dean McAmmond netting a powerplay goal to knot the game up at 3-3. Rod Pelley gave the Devils their first lead at 10:04 of the second, putting New Jersey ahead, 4-3. McAmmond stretched the lead to 5-3 with his second goal of the game at 11:45 of the third period. Vyacheslav Kozlov tallied on the powerplay to bring the score to within one, 5-4, but the Devils held on for the victory.
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The Devils won their second game over Atlanta, 3-2, on December 28. Ilya Kovalchuk gave the Thrashers an early lead, scoring the game’s first goal at 9:43 to put Atlanta ahead, 1-0. Parise tied the game, 1-1, with a goal at 10:46 of the first period. Colin White put the Devils ahead, 2-1, at 16:34 of the first. Parise’s second goal of the game, a powerplay tally 59 seconds into the third period, increased the lead to 3-1. Marty Reasoner scored at 7:28 of the third to bring Atlanta to within a goal, putting the score at 3-2. But it was too little too late, as the Devils held on to win the game.
The Devils shut out the Thrashers, 3-0, in the final game of their season series. McAmmond opened the scoring, giving the Devils a lead, 1-0, at 15:28 of the first period. Parise extended the lead, pushing the Devils ahead, 2-0, with his even-strength goal 51 seconds into the second period. Zajac pushed the lead further, putting the Devils ahead, 3-0, only 10 seconds into the third period.
Devils vs. Thrashers – This Season’s Matchup
The Thrashers and Devils will face off four times this season, with their first meeting on New Year’s Eve. The teams also play each other twice in four days from March 11-15, 2011.
Atlanta was one of the busier teams during the offseason. The Thrashers seized an opportunity, trading Reasoner, Joey Crabb, Jeremy Morin, and prospects to the Chicago Blackhawks for Dustin Byfuglien, Brent Sopel, Ben Eager and Akim Aliu. Seven days later, the Thrashers and Blackhawks made another trade, with Andrew Ladd coming to Atlanta for defenseman Ivan Vishnevskiy and the Thrasher’s 2011 second-round draft pick. But the team wasn’t done dealing there. The Thrashers added some muscle, acquiring Donald Brashear and Patrick Rissmiller from the New York Rangers, trading away center Todd White. The team also bolstered their goalie depth, signing Chris Mason to a two-year, $3.7 million deal.
The Devils have always played well against the Thrashers, but they’re one of those pesky teams that never seems to go away in a game. Lately, the Thrashers haven’t been able to put together the entire package – they’ll score but give up too many goals or vice versa. The Devils should enjoy success against Atlanta, but it won’t be an easy eight points.
Parise recorded seven points (five goals, two assists) against Atlanta last season…McAmmond scored three of his eight goals last season against the Thrashers…In 36 career starts against Atlanta, Brodeur is 20-7-3-5 with a 2.09 goals against average and a .910 save percentage with seven shutouts…Both Kubina and Tobias Enstrom led Atlanta with five points against the Devils last season.