Originally created 01/25/02

Thrashers 4, Devils 2



ATLANTA -- Ilya Kovalchuk and Tony Hrkac scored third-period goals as the Atlanta Thrashers rebounded from a terrible start to beat the New Jersey Devils 4-2 Thursday night.

The Thrashers were down 2-0 after the first period and outshot by New Jersey 19-2. But Atlanta tied it on second-period goals by Pascal Rheaume and Jeff Odgers, and went ahead to stay on Kovalchuk's team-leading 25th goal just 48 seconds into the third.

Hrkac added the short-handed goal with 38 seconds left to seal it.

After allowing the two New Jersey goals in the opening period, Thrashers' goaltender Milan Hnilicka stopped 47 shots the rest of the way as Atlanta won for the fifth time in its last seven games.

New Jersey's Valeri Kamensky opened the scoring 1:12 into the game, taking a feed from Sergei Brylin in front of the crease and popping it in on Hnilicka's glove side for his fifth goal of the season.

The Devils struck again at 13:19, taking advantage of a 5-on-3 power play. Bobby Holik netted his 15th goal on a breakaway off a pass from Scott Gomez.

Atlanta stormed back after the break, getting on the board 39 seconds into the second period on its first power play. Rheaume scored on a putback from in front of the crease after a slap shot by Dany Heatley ricocheted off the stick of Devils' rookie goaltender Jean-Francois Damphousse.

Atlanta knotted it at 2 at 9:07 of the second. Ray Ferraro, as he fell down in the corner, managed a cross-ice pass to set up Odgers, who wristed it past Damphousse for his second goal of the season.

Kovalchuk gave the Thrashers the lead by scoring on a breakaway. Hrkac completed the scoring with Atlanta's first short-handed goal of the season.

Notes: Rheaume has nine goals and five assists in his in his last three games. ... Kovalchuk leads all NHL rookies with nine goals in January. ... Thrashers W Shean Donovan sat out with a brusied heel sustained Tuesday night against Washington. He is day-to-day. ... D Andy Sutton made his Thrashers debut after coming over from Minnesota in a trade for Hnat Domenichelli on Monday. ... Ferraro, Atlanta's captain, was back in action after he was a healthy scratch Tuesday. ... Hnilicki played in his 39th game of the season, breaking the franchise record for goaltenders set by Damian Rhodes last season.