Boston at Atlanta

Lehtonen sharp for Thrashers in net, Kovalchuk adds 32nd goal

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Thrashers didn't waste any time ending their losing streak and extending the Boston Bruins' misery.

Slava Kozlov, Bobby Holik and Pascal Dupuis scored in a three-goal first period and Kari Lehtonen earned his second shutout, leading the Thrashers to a 5-0 victory Saturday over the Boston Bruins.

Ilya Kovalchuk scored his league-leading 32nd goal on a power play and added an assist on Alexei Zhitnik's first goal of the season in the second period.

"It was important for us to establish the pace of the game early on and the guys came out and did a tremendous job," said Atlanta general manager and coach Don Waddell.

Lehtonen made 26 saves for his ninth career shutout, including an outstanding stop on a breakaway by Marco Sturm midway through the second period.

"Tonight we played the same that we did the other night, but now it is 5-0," said Lehtonen, referring to Thursday night's 5-3 loss at Florida in which the Panthers outshot the Panthers 41-29.

"It's a couple of breaks here and there. It was fun to see it go this way," said Lehtonen. "The guys played great in front of me. Usually, when it's 5-0 after the second period, there will be some letdown."

Atlanta, which had lost two in a row after winning four straight, jumped on Boston early, scoring goals 1:32 apart. Kozlov scored at 7:50 on a pass from Eric Perrin, easily beating Boston goaltender Alex Auld from in close. The Thrashers made it 2-0 on Holik's fourth goal, with Andrew Ference defending the net after Auld got tangled up trying to clear the puck along the boards. Dupuis earned an assist.

The Thrashers' third goal came when Dupuis came from behind the net and tucked the puck past Auld at 16:45.

Auld was replaced by Tim Thomas at the start of the second period.

"We are all trying to turn this around. Obviously you want to do what you can to help your team get a win. It wasn't enough tonight. We have to stay together. We can't get frustrated," Auld said.

Kovalchuk got his ninth power-play goal at 11:05 of the middle period and then assisted on Zhitnik's goal 2:43 later for a 5-0 lead.

Notes

  • There were two fights in the opening 2:30. The Thrashers' Chris Thorburn and Boston's Shawn Reich each got five-minute fighting penalties after 2:26. Four seconds later, Atlanta's Eric Boulton and Thornton went.
  • Atlanta rookie F Colin Stuart, recalled Friday from Chicago (AHL), made his NHL debut and got his first point, an assist on Dupuis' goal. His brother, Mark Stuart, plays for Boston.
  • The Thrashers had a crowd of 18,514, their fourth sellout.
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Ilya Kovalchuk continues his scoring pace by notching his league-best 32nd goal. (Getty Images)
Ilya Kovalchuk continues his scoring pace by notching his league-best 32nd goal. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Boston (18-16-4)0000
Atlanta  (19-19-1) «3205
Three Stars
K. Lehtonen
ATL


Saves: 26
Save Pct.: 1.000
B. Holik
ATL


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
A. Zhitnik
ATL


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
07:50Slava Kozlov (11), Snap Shot. Assist: Eric Perrin
09:22Bobby Holik (4), Snap Shot. Assist: Pascal Dupuis
16:45Pascal Dupuis (6), Tip-In. Assist: Colin Stuart, Bobby Holik
2ND PERIOD
11:05Power Play - Ilya Kovalchuk (32), Slap Shot. Assist: Alexei Zhitnik, Todd White
13:48Alexei Zhitnik (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Mark Recchi, Ilya Kovalchuk
3RD PERIOD
None
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
02:26Thorburn, 5 min, Fighting
02:26Reich, 5 min, Fighting
02:30Boulton, 5 min, Fighting
02:30Thornton, 5 min, Fighting
03:35Savard, 2 min, Holding
11:36Hossa, 2 min, Roughing
2ND PERIOD
07:17Kovalchuk, 2 min, Bench - Too Many Men on the Ice
09:18Bochenski, 2 min, Holding
16:49White, 2 min, Tripping
3RD PERIOD
03:10Havelid, 2 min, Hooking
03:10Schaefer, 2 min, Holding
14:57Nokelainen, 2 min, Boarding
16:18Metropolit, 2 min, Hooking
Shots On Goal
 123T
Boston126826
Atlanta1310629
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Alex Auld20:00103
Tim Thomas39:56142
Kari Lehtonen59:58260
Game Information
Attendance - 18545
Referees - Eric Furlatt, Rob Martell
Linesmen - Tim Nowak, Mark Pare
 
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