I am sure the Atlanta Thrashers came into New Jersey on New Years Eve with vivid memories of how the dismantled the Devils in the previous meeting. The Thrashers, for a lack of a better word, thrashed NJ 7-1 in that game and NJ needed to have a strong showing tonight in order to put that loss behind them for good.
The Devils played a decent game despite the loss against the Rangers the other night and were looking to build on that game. Build they did. The Devils skated away with a 3-1 victory against the Thrashers and close out 2010 with their 10th win of the season and hopefully a little confidence as they head into 2011. Hopefully, their 11th win will happen on New Years Day when they travel to Carolina.
* Give the Devils a little credit. For the second game in a row they've hit the ice with a little jump in their game. A few weeks ago I was complaining a lot that the Devils didn't even look like they cared that there was a game. Since Lemaire has taken over, that hasn't been the case.
* Mark Fayne gets an early goal, only 1:18 into the game. Thankfully the Devils don't give up a quick goal to tie the game, something they have done a bunch of times this season.
* Jamie Langenbrunner finds net only 1:01 into the second to give NJ a nice 2-0 lead. The Devils have been killed in the second period this season. Going into this game they were outscored 50-29 in the 2nd and thankfully played a very good 2nd tonight, taking a 2-0 lead into the third period.
* Dustin Byfuglien tipped in a goal at 12:14 of the third period but Ilya Kovalchuk made a nice move on a breakaway only 1:26 later to give the Devils a 3-1 lead. The Devils did a great job not letting the Byfuglien goal get to them
* I thought the defense played VERY well tonight. I don't have the numbers but I heard after the game the Devils did a great job when it came to finishing their checks. They did that the other night as well against the Rangers and it just proves that finishing your checks can wear down an opponent.
1. Johan Hedberg - A very nice job in net tonight. If you keep playing like that, there is no doubt that you should see more and more starts.
2. Jason Arnott - Thanks for showing up tonight. An assist on Fayne's goal and Jamie's goal makes for a good night.
3. Ilya Kovalchuk - FINALLY put home a breakaway goal with a nice move. Lets hope 2011 brings A LOT more of that!!
See you tomorrow night in Carolina!! Don't forget to check out the Winter Classic as well tomorrow night. Game time for that has been changed to 8pm. So much to watch tomorrow!!