TORONTO -- Glen Metropolit had the game of his life in front of tons of family and friends.
Vyacheslav Kozlov scored twice and Marian Hossa scored his league-leading 21st goal for the Thrashers, who rallied after trailing 2-0.
Metropolit -- raised in Toronto -- scored the first goal and assisted on the next two.
He's back in the NHL this year after playing three years in Europe.
"Everyone came out of the woodwork here. Kids from high school were up there. I saw faces. It was so rewarding getting a goal," Metropolit said. "It was special. Everyone lives vicariously through me."
They greeted him with applause after the game.
Altanta coach Bob Hartley credited Metropolit for the victory.
"Metro was the difference," Hartley said. "Metro skated very well and opened it up for us. It's nice to see. He's been working hard. We gave him a chance and he took advantage of it."
Hartley said scouts noticed Metropolit's skills and speed last year and figured with the new rules he'd do well. He has six goals.
"We figured he'd come in and give us big goals and that's what he's doing," Hartley said.
"There's not a lot of confidence in the room right now," Toronto coach Paul Maurice said.
The Thrashers went 0-for-7 on the power-play before Metropolit scored on the man advantage. Atlanta finished 2-for-10 with the man advantage.
"We can't spend that much time in the penalty box," said Maurice, who added his team was exhausted from killing penalties in the second. "We lost this game in the second, not the third."
Metropolit tipped in a shot from in front of the net at 3:56 of the third. After Toronto defenseman Hal Gill turned the puck over the blue line, Kozlov tied it at 2 with a slapshot at 7:14 of the third.
Kovlov gave Atlanta the lead at 11:27 of the third after Metropolit checked Alex Steen and made a pass from behind the net to Kozlov, who is tied with Tucker for the league lead with 12 power-play goals.
Hossa scored on a partial breakaway at 14:21 of the third and Ilya Kovalchuk added an empty-netter at 19:03 of the third. Atlanta outshot Toronto 37-19.
"We need to keep going if we want to be at the top of the league," Kozlov said.
For Toronto, Tucker scored at 8:41 of the first on a power play from the side of the net - where he has scored most of his goals with the man advantage. Jeff O'Neill and Kyle Wellwood assisted. After an Atlanta turnover, Peca's wrist shot beat Hedberg at 19:44 of the first.
|Glen Metropolit (L) and Marian Hossa celebrate the goal scored by Metropolit in the third period. (AP)|
|Atlanta (18-7-4) «||0||0||5||5|
|08:41||Power Play - Darcy Tucker (17), Snap Shot - Assists: Jeff O'Neill, Kyle Wellwood|
|19:44||Michael Peca (4), Wrist Shot - Assists: Alexander Steen, Chad Kilger|
|03:56||Power Play - Glen Metropolit (6), Tip-In - Assists: Greg de Vries, Ilya Kovalchuk|
|07:14||Slava Kozlov (10), Slap Shot - Assist: Glen Metropolit|
|11:27||Slava Kozlov (11), Snap Shot - Assists: Glen Metropolit, Marian Hossa|
|14:21||Power Play - Marian Hossa (21), Snap Shot - Assists: Greg de Vries, Slava Kozlov|
|19:03||Ilya Kovalchuk (18), Empty Net - Assists: J.P. Vigier, Niclas Havelid|
|03:46||Steen: Slashing - 2 min.|
|08:30||Holik: Slashing - 2 min.|
|09:49||Antropov: High sticking - 2 min.|
|17:16||Hossa: Holding - 2 min.|
|01:46||Gill: Cross Check - 2 min.|
|03:56||Gill: Hooking - 2 min.|
|06:56||Antropov: Hooking - 2 min.|
|08:26||Kovalchuk: Tripping - 2 min.|
|13:42||Tucker: Hooking - 2 min.|
|14:32||Mellanby: Roughing - 2 min.|
|14:32||Kubina: Roughing - 2 min.|
|17:22||White: Delay of Game - 2 min.|
|03:34||White: Delay of Game - 2 min.|
|12:52||Gill: Hooking - 2 min.|
|15:24||Tucker: Slashing - 2 min.|
|SHOTS ON GOAL|
|Attendance - 19507|
|Referees - Gord Dwyer, Dean Warren|
|Linesmen - Derek Amell, David Brisebois|