Devils Harness Thrashers

Brendan Morrison and Patrik Elias formed a tight bond during their contract holdouts.

They practiced together while sitting out training camp. They played together in the Czech Republic. And they both came to terms with the New Jersey Devils on Oct. 25.

It only seemed fitting both would score their first goals in the same game. Morrison and Elias led the way Friday night in the Devils' 5-1 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers.

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  • "We both had a lot of chances before in the last few games," Elias said. "They just didn't go in. Hopefully we can keep it going and get on the board a little more."

    Morrison also had two assists as the Devils toyed with the expansion Thrashers.

    "That was one of my best games since coming back," Morrison said. "I had a lot of chances in the first couple of games and it was good to get the first one."

    Claude Lemieux, Jason Arnott and Sergei Nemchinov also scored for New Jersey, which extended its home unbeaten streak to eight at 7-0-1.

    Martin Brodeur lost a bid for his 38th career shutout when Petr Buzek scored on a point shot through a screen with 57.4 seconds remaining. Atlanta did little on offense and was outshot 40-13.

    Elias, Lemieux and Arnott scored in the first period as the Devils took a 3-0 lead.

    Elias opened the scoring with a shot from the slot at 7:27. Lemieux followed with power-play goal at 14:54. Arnott beat rookie goaltender Scott Langkow with a knuckling shot from the high slot at 16:17.

    "I felt good," said Langkow, who made his Thrashers debut after being selected from the Phoenix Coyotes in the expansion draft. "It was discouraging fallinbehind 3-0, but I knew these guys weren't going to quit."

    The Devils, who outshot the Thrashers 14-3 in the first period, kept up the pressure in the second on goals by Nemchinov and Morrison.

    Nemchinov, on a centering feed from Morrison, scored the fourth goal at 2:45. Nemchinov reciprocated by setting up Morrison at 14:38.

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