Ottawa at Atlanta

Kozlov's hat trick helps seal Sens' first five-game skid in 10 years

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- Slava Kozlov's fifth career hat trick left the Ottawa Senators in a rare drought.

Kozlov's third goal gave Atlanta its first lead with 8:09 left in regulation as the Thrashers beat Ottawa 5-4 on Wednesday night to hand the Senators their first five-game losing streak in 10 years.

Once again, the Senators couldn't hold a lead. Goalie Martin Gerber continued to struggle as he fell to 2-6-1 while stopping only 26 of 31 shots.

The Senators blew 3-1 and 4-2 advantages. It was the third straight game that Ottawa blew a lead.

"I felt pretty confident, but I couldn't finish it," Gerber said. "They have a very high-skilled team.'

The Senators, who last lost five straight games from Feb. 22-March 9, 1996, led 2-0 in a 3-2 loss to Carolina on Saturday night and couldn't hold a 3-0 lead in a 4-3 loss to Washington in overtime on Monday night.

"We have to find some way to break this cycle," said Ottawa's Joe Corvo. "We have to keep working. I know that sounds stupid."

The Thrashers pulled even at 4-4 on Ilya Kovalchuk's wrist shot past Gerber about four minutes into the third period. Kozlov's third goal of the game about 12 minutes into the period gave Atlanta its first lead.

Kozlov gave credit to Thrashers goalie Kari Lehtonen, who stopped 19 shots in a relief role, shutting out the Senators for the last period and a half.

"Kari came in and he gave us a chance," Kozlov said. "He made some really good saves to keep us in it when we were down two goals."

Ottawa coach Bryan Murray planned to give Gerber a rest against Atlanta, but backup goalie Ray Emery suffered a sprained wrist in practice Wednesday.

Murray, already under pressure in Ottawa, said his team gave a good effort.

"That's as hard-working game as we've had this year," Murray said. "We had lots of scoring chances. I never talk to the guys after we lose a game in the two years I've been here, and tonight I did. I thought they played extremely hard, very focused and didn't give up many scoring chances at all."

The Thrashers, who lead the Southeast Division, won their fourth straight game despite changing goalies midway through the game.

Johan Hedberg, who had allowed only 2.01 goals per game in three straight wins, was pulled after Ottawa took a 4-2 lead midway through the second period. Hedberg stopped 15 of 19 shots before giving way to Lehtonen.

"I got out there and got lucky in the first two minutes," Lehtonen said. "After that, I found my game and hockey was fun again. ... It's great to have two good goalies on the team."

The Thrashers were called for four first-period penalties, providing the Senators repeated opportunities to shake out of their power-play slump.

Ottawa was 0-for-16 on the power play in its last three games. The Senators failed on two power-play opportunities against Atlanta before Daniel Alfredsson broke the slump with a goal for a 2-1 lead.

Chris Kelly's tip-in about six minutes into the second period pushed the Senators' lead to 3-1.

Ottawa's first penalty, a holding call on Anton Volchenkov, came 7:36 into the period, and less than a minute later a delay call against Andrej Meszaros gave Atlanta a two-man advantage.

Only 14 seconds later, Kozlov, positioned in front of the net, tipped in a pass from Marian Hossa to cut Ottawa's lead to 3-2.

Antoine Vermette's short-handed goal at the end of Atlanta's power play gave Ottawa a 4-2 lead, prompting Thrashers coach Bob Hartley to change goalies.

"We got a great run from Johan, but after the fourth goal I felt Johan was not as sharp as he had been," Hartley said. "The first 40 minutes were not the kind of hockey that we can play, and I felt that by changing the goalies we could try to flip the game around."

Kozlov's second goal of the second period cut Ottawa's lead to 4-3.

The Senators opened the scoring in the first period with Jason Spezza's sixth goal. Atlanta answered with a short-handed breakaway goal by Brad Larsen for a 1-1 tie.

Notes

  • Emery was in uniform one day after suffering a sprained wrist in practice.
  • Kozlov's last hat track came against Ottawa on Jan. 2, 2006.
  • Hossa had three assists.
  • The Thrashers have hat tricks in back-to-back games for the first time in team history. Kovalchuk had three goals in Monday's 5-3 win over Boston.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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When Ilya Kovalchuk's not out frolicking on the ice, he's busy scoring game-tying goals for Atlanta.  (AP)
When Ilya Kovalchuk's not out frolicking on the ice, he's busy scoring game-tying goals for Atlanta. (AP)

Scoreboard
Ottawa (5-8-1)2204
Atlanta  (12-3-3) «1225
Three Stars
S. Kozlov
ATL


Goals: 3
Assist(s): 0
M. Hossa
ATL


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 3
J. Spezza
OTT


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
10:08Jason Spezza (6), Tip-In - Assist: Joe Corvo
14:22Short - Brad Larsen (3), Wrist Shot - Unassisted.
16:02Power Play - Daniel Alfredsson (4), Wrist Shot - Assists: Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza
2ND PERIOD
06:06Chris Kelly (2), Tip-In - Assists: Antoine Vermette, Patrick Eaves
08:41Power Play - Slava Kozlov (6), Tip-In - Assists: Marian Hossa, Steve McCarthy
09:39Short - Antoine Vermette (7), Backhand Shot - Assists: Chris Kelly, Chris Phillips
18:24Slava Kozlov (7), Tip-In - Assists: Niko Kapanen, Marian Hossa
3RD PERIOD
04:08Ilya Kovalchuk (13), Wrist Shot - Assists: Steve Rucchin, Marian Hossa
08:09Slava Kozlov (8), Slap Shot - Assists: Niko Kapanen, Andy Sutton
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
01:20Hossa: High sticking - 2 min.
13:41Vishnevski: Hooking - 2 min.
15:40Sutton: Slashing - 2 min.
17:14Boulton: Too Many Men on the Ice(bench) - 2 min.
2ND PERIOD
07:36Volchenkov: Holding - 2 min.
08:27Meszaros: Delaying Game - 2 min.
15:54Hossa: Boarding - 2 min.
3RD PERIOD
08:27Lehtonen: Roughing - 2 min.
08:27Neil: Slashing - 2 min.
15:02Holik: Tripping - 2 min.
16:47Corvo: Tripping - 2 min.
SHOTS ON GOAL
 123T
Ottawa11141338
Atlanta8131031
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Martin Gerber59:17265
Johan Hedberg29:39154
Kari Lehtonen30:21190
GAME INFORMATION
Attendance - 16253
Game Time - 60:00
Referees - Gord Dwyer, Craig Spada
Line Judges - Steve Miller, Jay Sharrers
 
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