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Buffalo at Atlanta

Thrashers 3, Sabres 2 (SO)

CBSSports.com wire reports

ATLANTA -- Thrashers goalie Kari Lehtonen will take the win even though he still doesn't like shootouts.

Ilya Kovalchuk and Slava Kozlov scored shootout goals for Atlanta, which beat Buffalo 3-2 on Saturday night and handed the Sabres their first loss of the season.

Kovalchuk, Atlanta's second shooter in the tiebreaker, beat Patrick Lalime for the first goal. Buffalo tied it with its second skater, Ales Kotalik, who scored on Lehtonen.

Kozlov gave the Thrashers the lead, and they finished off the victory when Buffalo leading scorer Thomas Vanek shot wide.

"It was pretty exciting. Nice to get the two points," Lehtonen said. "Those (shootouts) are not so much fun for goalies."

The one thing he appreciated was the break between overtime and the shootout.

"It's good we have two minutes to regroup," Lehtonen said.

The Thrashers snapped a three-game losing streak, and the Sabres fell to 4-0-1.

Buffalo's Jason Pominville scored with 3:08 remaining in the third period to tie it at 2, knocking in his own rebound.

"Somebody on their team turned the puck over and I got in the slot and made a pretty good shot," Pominville said. "I didn't like our start, but as the game went on, it got better."

Pominville's second of the season came after his initial shot bounced high off Lehtonen's glove and back to him.

"I was disappointed for giving up the tying goal just before overtime," Lehtonen said.

The Thrashers got off to a quick 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Kovalchuk and Bryan Little.

Kovalchuk, a 52-goal scorer last season, netted his second of the season after only 1:35 elapsed. He scored with a hard shot over Lalime's left shoulder.

Little, who leads the Thrashers with four goals, made it 2-0 at 17:12 with another shot over Lalime's left shoulder from about 10 feet out. Todd White assisted on both goals.

"We expected Atlanta to come out hard," Lalime said. "I like how we came back in the second and third. It would have been nice to get the extra point."

Vanek got the Sabres within 2-1 during a two-man advantage with three minutes left in the second period.

Vanek is off to the quickest start of his career, scoring seven goals in Buffalo's first five games. Kotalik and Pominville earned assists.


The Thrashers scratched D Nathan Oystrick and LW Brett Sterling. Buffalo's scratches were C Tim Connolly, D Nathan Paetsch and C Jochen Hecht. ... The Thrashers outshot the Sabres 19-6 in the opening period. ... Buffalo came into the game 18-for-18 on penalty killing and made it 24-for-24 with six stops against Atlanta. The Thrashers, meanwhile, have gone 21 straight power plays without a goal.

Copyright 2015 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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Buffalo (4-0-1)01100 (1)2
Atlanta  (2-2-1) «20001 (2)3
Three Stars
K. Lehtonen

Saves: 28
Save Pct.: .933
P. Lalime

Saves: 35
Save Pct.: .946
I. Kovalchuk

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0

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Scoring Summary
01:35Ilya Kovalchuk (2), Wrist Shot. Assist: White
17:12Bryan Little (4), Snap Shot. Assist: White
17:00Power Play - Thomas Vanek (7), Slap Shot. Assist: Pominville, Kotalik
16:52Jason Pominville (2), Wrist Shot, Unassisted.
 Ilya Kovalchuk (1), GOAL
 Drew Stafford (2), GOAL
 Slava Kozlov (1), GOAL
Penalty Summary
04:07Armstrong, 2 min, Slashing
04:07Tallinder, 2 min, Cross-Checking
07:39Kaleta, 5 min, Fighting
07:39Thorburn, 5 min, Fighting
07:39Peters, 2 min, Boarding
09:26Macarthur, 2 min, Roughing
12:22Mair, 2 min, Cross-Checking
04:02Schneider, 2 min, Roughing
06:56Numminen, 2 min, Hooking
10:18Boulton, 2 min, Tripping
15:15Boulton, 2 min, Interference
16:07Perrin, 2 min, Hooking
19:39Vanek, 2 min, Interference
09:10Havelid, 4 min, High-Sticking
12:34Vanek, 2 min, Goaltender Interference
Shots On Goal
Patrick Lalime 65:0035232
Kari Lehtonen 64:5628231
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Game Information
Attendance - 14091
Referees - Brian Pochmara, Rob Shick
Linesmen - Pierre Racicot, Lyle Seitz
Other Games
Pho 1 Final
Mon 4
Colu 3 Final
Nash 6
Bos 4 Final
Ott 2
NYI 0 Final
Fla 2
Phi 4 Final
SJ 5
Min 1 Final
TB 0
NJ 4 Final
Wash 3
Cal 2 Final
Edm 3
NYR 4 Final
Det 5
Tor 1 Final
Pitt 4
Colo 5 Final
Dal 4
Chi 3 Final
StL 4