The New Jersey Devils are off to their best road start in 20 years, but they still haven't won at home this season.
They'll look to change that Friday night when they host the well-rested Atlanta Thrashers.
New Jersey (3-2-0) capped a 3-0-0 trip with a 3-2 shootout win over Washington on Monday night. Trailing 2-0 after the first period, the Devils got regulation goals from Brian Rolston and David Clarkson before Martin Brodeur stopped two of three shots in the shootout to keep New Jersey undefeated through its first three road games for the first time since 1989-90.
"You go on the road, regardless of teams you play, and you have three games and you just hope to do well," said Brodeur, who made 31 saves. "We did great. We got all six points."
"It's nice when you go out and your first couple of guys scores all the time (in the shootout). For a goalie, it's great," said Brodeur, who posted a 2.23 goals-against average in three starts on the trip. "You make a save and the next thing you know, you're in good position to win the hockey game."
Brodeur, though, posted a 4.04 GAA in home losses to Philadelphia and the New York Rangers to open the season. New Jersey, which was 28-12-1 at home last season, hasn't lost its first three home games since 1983-84.
Brodeur, a four-time Vezina Trophy winner, appears to have a good chance to get back on track at the Prudential Center by meeting the Thrashers. He's 6-0-2 with a 1.95 GAA in his last eight starts versus Atlanta.
Overall, the Devils are 7-1-2 against the Thrashers since Jan. 12, 2007. Atlanta (2-1-0) won the previous six matchups.
New Jersey appears to be adjusting to coach Jacques Lemaire, who was hired in July after spending the past eight seasons in Minnesota. Lemaire previously coached the Devils from 1993-98, leading them to the 1995 Stanley Cup.
"It's been a work in progress, and I think everything's coming more natural to us now," Rolston told the team's official Web site. "Before, when we were learning the new system and the way Jacques wants things done, he was doing a lot of teaching. When you're being taught, you start thinking, 'OK, I need to do this, I need to do that.' Now things are becoming more natural for us, I think."
While New Jersey is playing the first of consecutive games at home, Atlanta continues its stretch of five straight on the road. The Thrashers haven't played since falling 4-2 at Ottawa on Saturday night.
Ilya Kovalchuk scored his team-high fifth goal in the first period after the Senators took a 2-0 lead in the opening 2:25.
"I don't think we showed up for this game," Kovalchuk said. "I don't know whether we were ready at the start and then they capitalized on us and scored a couple of quick goals."
Kovalchuk had a goal and an assist in Atlanta's lone win over New Jersey last season and was held scoreless in three losses in the series.
Thrashers goaltender Ondrej Pavelec made 30 saves in Saturday's defeat. He has never started against the Devils.