The Thrashers ended a slump with three power-play goals, including two by Ilya Kovalchuk. Atlanta earned its fourth consecutive home win over New Jersey, which has lost two straight overall. Slava Kozlov also scored for Atlanta in the shootout and added three assists in regulation.
Kari Lehtonen blocked two shots to win the shootout duel with New Jersey’s Martin Brodeur.
Lehtonen allowed a goal to Brian Gionta, who also scored in regulation, before blocking attempts by Zach Parise and John Madden.
Atlanta put an early end to four games of frustration on the power play. The Thrashers, 0-for-6 on the power play in their 2-1 loss to Philadelphia on Sunday, had been 0-for-18 with the advantage.
The Thrashers took a 2-0 first-period lead with two goals by Kovalchuk, each coming early in power-play opportunities.
Less than eight minutes into the game, Kovalchuk took a circle-to-circle pass from Kozlov and fired a wrist shot past Brodeur.
About four minutes later, more crisp passing by the Thrashers on the power play – this time from Marian Hossa to Kozlov to Kovalchuk – set up Kovalchuk’s second goal.
A minor hooking penalty on Gionta set up Kovalchuk’s second goal, but Gionta answered with the Devils’ first goal on a tip-in 15:04 into the first period.
The Devils carried the momentum created by Gionta’s goal into the second period, pulling even when Patrik Elias tipped in Brian Rafalski’s shot attempt and then taking a 3-2 lead when Parise pushed a shot over Lehtonen’s shoulder and off the cross bar. Officials reviewed the play to confirm the puck entered the net.
Atlanta tied the game a 3-3 on Niclas Havelid’s third goal of the season, an unassisted shot from the right circle, 14:29 into the period.
A roughing penalty against New Jersey’s Colin White at the end of the second period set up a successful power play for the Thrashers for a 4-3 lead 1:19 into the third period.
Glen Metropolit skated behind the net and then scored by whirling and firing the shot inside the left post when it appeared he would instead pass to Kovalchuk, standing in the left circle.
New Jersey again answered when Madden tipped in a pass from Sergei Brylin for a 4-4 tie through three periods.
Notes: Gionta has four goals in his last four games and 24 for the season. … The Thrashers activated D Andy Sutton from injured reserve. Sutton returned after missing 27 games with a left ankle injury.