his Preposterous Dream has become too dramatic too often to dismiss or deny. It's no laughing matter, except to the Devils who are pulling it off. They're giggling about the history they're making.

The very Undead Devils rose again last night, just when their playoff hopes were on the verge of extinction. This would have been the most dramatic of their 21 victories in 25 games, if not for so many of the others that were just as breathtaking.

"We needed this game. We needed this game," coach Jacques Lemaire said after the Devils beat the Thrashers 3-2 in overtime last night, Travis Zajac's winner the first moment they led all night.