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Washington at Atlanta

Thrashers make quick work of Caps in SO behind Perrin, Kozlov

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- If Marian Hossa is headed out of Atlanta, the All-Star made the most of his farewell.

Hossa had an assist and a save and Eric Perrin and Slava Kozlov scored on Atlanta's first two shootout opportunities to help the Thrashers beat the Washington Capitals 3-2 on Wednesday night.

Hossa and the Thrashers will not play another home game until Feb. 28, two days after the NHL's trade deadline. Thrashers general manager and interim coach Don Waddell still hopes to re-sign Hossa, but acknowledged a trade is an option.

"You never think about it," Hossa said. "You try to have fun. Have fun with the guys. That's the only way to handle it."

Kari Lehtonen stopped 39 shots before denying Washington's Alexander Semin and Boyd Gordon in the shootout. Lehtonen, who also had an improbable assist on Hossa's goal, made a glove save on Gordon's shot to finish the victory.

"He won the game for them," said Washington's Mike Green of Lehtonen. "He is a great goalie. We didn't put enough traffic in front of him. He saw every shot."

The victory left Atlanta, Washington and Carolina tied for first in the Southeast Division.

Lehtonen's strong game was his second against the Capitals in less than two weeks. He earned a 2-0 shutout victory Feb. 2 at Washington.

The Thrashers improved to 7-4 in shootouts and 13-4 in overtime. They were only 1:21 away from winning 2-1 in regulation, but Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading 48th goal from the left circle to force overtime.

"Anytime you come back in the final two minutes to tie the game, it's a positive thing," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Obviously, we'd like two points, but one point to get into the 60-point category is better than no points.

"It's like playoff hockey from here on out. I don't foresee any team pulling away and winning the division by eight or 10 points."

Viktor Kozlov gave Washington a 1-0 lead early in the second. The Thrashers answered with two goals in the final four minutes of the period.

Hossa set up Atlanta's first goal by Eric Perrin. Hossa came away with the puck near the boards behind the net and passed to Perrin. His shot went past defenseman Jeff Schultz, who might have blocked goalie Olaf Kolzig's view of the play. The goal 16:29 into the second tied the game at 1.

Hossa gave the Thrashers the lead with an unusual assist from Lehtonen with only 56 seconds left in the second period. Lehtonen made a stop and then quickly shot the puck straight up the ice to Hossa, who had only Kolzig ahead of him before scoring the breakaway goal.

"He saw me right away," Hossa said of Lehtonen. "We had a little eye contact. It's like half a second. He made a very good pass to me. I was just hoping. I was all open. I had a lot of time to do something."

Asked about the assist, Lehtonen smiled and said, "I still believe I'm a better goaltender than a passer."

Atlanta fans chanted "Kari! Kari!" following the play.

Washington seemed to be on the attack throughout the first period, outshooting the Thrashers 18-3.

"It wasn't the start we were looking for, that's for sure," Waddell said. "Kari made us look pretty good in the first period."

Lehtonen made several strong saves in the period, including a glove save against Gordon 4:17 into the game that was upheld with an officials' review. Lehtonen's glove slid behind the line after making the save.

The Capitals took a 1-0 lead early in the second period. Lehtonen blocked a shot by Ovechkin, but was out of position to stop a follow-up shot by Kozlov at the 2:56 mark.

The Thrashers appeared to tie it less than two minutes later, but a review showed Perrin kicked the puck into the net.

Notes

  • Lehtonen recorded his second assist of the season. His first came on Dec. 18 against Tampa Bay.
  • Atlanta All-Star Ilya Kovalchuk has two goals and no assists over his past nine games. He is still second in the league, trailing only Ovechkin, with 39 goals.
  • Ovechkin has 28 goals over his past 30 games.
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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Slava Kozlov capitalizes early in the SO to help the Thrashers earn a share of first in the Southeast.  (AP)
Slava Kozlov capitalizes early in the SO to help the Thrashers earn a share of first in the Southeast. (AP)

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Scoreboard
Washington (27-25-6)01100 (0)2
Atlanta  (28-27-4) «02001 (2)3
Three Stars
K. Lehtonen
ATL


Saves: 39
Save Pct.: .951
M. Hossa
ATL


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
E. Perrin
ATL


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0

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Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
None
2ND PERIOD
02:56Viktor Kozlov (12), Snap Shot. Assist: Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom
16:29Eric Perrin (10), Snap Shot. Assist: Marian Hossa, Tobias Enstrom
19:03Marian Hossa (25), Wrist Shot. Assist: Kari Lehtonen
3RD PERIOD
18:39Alex Ovechkin (48), Snap Shot. Assist: Nicklas Backstrom, Mike Green
OT
None
SHOOTOUT
 Eric Perrin (2), GOAL
 Slava Kozlov (5), GOAL
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
09:21Kozlov, 2 min, Hooking
2ND PERIOD
08:41Havelid, 2 min, Tripping
12:48Fleischmann, 2 min, Hooking
3RD PERIOD
01:12Morrisonn, 2 min, Holding
OT
None
SHOOTOUT
None
Shots On Goal
 123T
Washington1861135
Atlanta314825
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGASO SSO GA
Olaf Kolzig 64:5826222
Kari Lehtonen 64:3739220
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Capitals0-for-0
Thrashers0-for-0
Game Information
Attendance - 15285
Referees - Brad Meier, Tim Peel
Linesmen - Lonnie Cameron, Shane Heyer
 
Other Games
Mon 2 Final
OT
Fla 1
Chi 7 Final
Colu 2
Bos 2 Final
Pitt 1
Tor 0 Final
Buf 1
Ott 2 Final
OT
NJ 3