NEWARK, N.J. - Rookie Jacob Josefson scored early in the third period and the hard-charging New Jersey Devils rallied from a two-goal deficit to defeat the Atlanta Thrashers 4-2 on Tuesday night.
Travis Zajac, Patrik Elias and Ilya Kovalchuk also scored as the Devils improved to 23-3-2 in their last 28 games and moved past the .500 mark (33-32-4) for the first time this season.
Martin Brodeur had 18 saves, stopping a break-in by Blake Wheeler and a shot in close by Bryan Little in the final minute as New Jersey jumped from 12th place in the Eastern Conference to 10th with 13 games left in the regular season.
The Devils also got the benefit of having an apparent tying goal by Evander Kane waved off with 37.4 seconds remaining because of a high stick.
Kovalchuk iced the game with an empty-net goal with 16.6 seconds to play.
Tim Stapleton and Chris Thorburn scored in a 65-second span in the first period for Atlanta, who were 3-0-1 in their last four games.
The end of the game was wild.
Brodeur first made a headlong dive to smoother Wheeler's break in and then it seemed the Thrashers tied the game when Kane deflected Tobias Enstrom's shot from the right point.
However, the referees immediately waved the goal off for a high stick and the review in Toronto didn't change the call.
Still, Atlanta didn't die. Seconds later, Little had a rebound chance in the crease and Brodeur went down to the ice to block it.
Kovalchuk got his 26th of the season to put the game away.
Josefson's game winner was his second NHL goal and his second in two games. It also came courtesy of another Swedish Devils' rookie, Mattias Tedenby.
Tedenby chased down a pass by Devils defenseman Colin White near the Thrashers' goal line. After bumping with a Thrashers' defenseman, he found Josefson above the left circle and Josefson wristed a shot past Ondrej Pavelec.
The Devils came into the game having not given up a first-period goal in an NHL-record 16 straight game. Atlanta not only ended the streak, Stapleton and Thorburn scored in a 65-second span to put the Thrashers up 2-0 with 3:31 left in the period.
Zajac, who tied defenseman Ken Daneyko's team-record playing in his 388th consecutive game, got New Jersey back into the contest by deflecting a point shot by Mark Fayne past Pavelec with 1:08 left in the period.
Elias tied the game early in the second period, taking a perfect return pass from Brian Rolston on a 3-on-2 rush and ripping a shot into an open net for his 16th goal of the season.
Stapleton's third goal of the season was set up by a great pass by Kane. He carried the puck into the Devils' zone, hit the brakes near the boards at the top of the left circle and threw a blind backhand pass at the net that Stapleton lifted over Brodeur.
Thorburn skated around Fayne from the same circle 1:05 later and ripped a shot past defenseman Henrik Tallinder and Brodeur for his career-high eighth goal of the season.
New Jersey looked in deep trouble at that point, but Zajac's deflection turned the tide.
NOTES: Radek Dvorak got an assist on Thorburn's goal, his first point in seven games as a Thrasher. ... Thorburn wore a face guard to protect his lip, which was cut Saturday against Philadelphia. ... Atlanta recalled D Noah Welch from Chicago (AHL)... The Devils won the season series 3-1.