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Vancouver at Atlanta

Thrashers beat Canucks in shootout to snap four-game losing streak

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- Erik Christensen might have a handle on why the Thrashers have been perfect in shootouts this season while struggling during regulation.

Christensen scored the winner in an extra round of the shootout Friday night, lifting the Thrashers to a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks to snap a four-game skid.

I don't know what it is with a shootout," Christensen said. "I'm always calm, which is different than during the game."

Atlanta also won its other shootout, beating Buffalo on Oct. 18 when Ilya Kovalchuk and Slava Kozlov scored. Christensen was stopped that time, but he came through against Vancouver.

Kari Lehtonen made 35 saves for Atlanta and turned back the final shootout bid by Daniel Sedin as the Thrashers won for the first time this season against a Western Conference team after five losses. It was also just the second home win for the Thrashers in their past 12 games.

Kozlov and Vancouver's Pavol Demitra scored in the first three rounds of the shootout to force an extra round.

"All my life," Christensen replied when asked how long he had been working on the move that produced the winner against LaBarbera. "It's called the double deke. It's one of the two moves I usually do."

Shootouts haven't been kind to Vancouver. The Canucks dropped to 1-4.

"This is a game we can build on," Lehtonen said. "We played well in the third (period). It's too bad they were able to tie the game."

Kozlov, Kovalchuk and Joey Crabb had goals in regulation play for Atlanta. Henrik Sedin had two goals and twin Daniel Sedin the other for Vancouver. Each of the Sedins had three points.

"We probably should have won the game before the shootout," Daniel Sedin said.

LaBarbera made 34 saves while playing for the second straight night after being acquired from Los Angeles when the Canucks lost Roberto Luongo and Curtis Stanford because of groin injuries.

"My success rate in the shootout hasn't been very good," LaBarbera said. "I would've liked to come up with one more save."

After Kozlov converted a rebound on the power play to give Atlanta a 3-2 lead with 3:46 into the third period, Vancouver tied it with 8:44 left when Daniel Sedin, fighting Marty Reasoner in front, tipped Henrik Sedin's shot past Lehtonen for his 19th goal.

Henrik Sedin's second goal came at 7:14 of the second period -- the center wheeled around Reasoner and jammed the puck past Lehtonen to the short side. It was Sedin's seventh goal of the season.

Kovalchuk, who had gone a career-high nine games without a goal before scoring Wednesday at Carolina, made it 2-all at 12:24 of the period. Kovalchuk took a feed from Jason Williams, who was behind the net, and ripped a shot past LaBarbera for his 13th goal.

"Every time Kovalchuk had the puck, something happened," LaBarbera said. "He is a special player."

The Thrashers took the lead nine minutes into the game with their first short-handed goal of the season. Niclas Havelid chipped the puck up ice on the penalty kill and Crabb outraced Demitra to it. The goal was the rookie's third of the season.

But the advantage didn't last long. Just 35 seconds after Crabb's goal on a hard shot from outside the right faceoff circle, Jim Slater gave Vancouver a two-man advantage with a slashing penalty, and the Canucks cashed in.

Henrik Sedin tapped in a loose puck at the 10:26 mark while a Thrashers' player had a broken stick.

Atlanta's Eric Boulton and Vancouver's Mike Brown fought just four seconds after the puck was dropped to start the game and both teams were feisty throughout.

Notes

  • Mats Sundin didn't make the two-game trip with the Canucks to Nashville and Atlanta. The former Toronto center, who signed with Vancouver Dec. 18, is likely to make his debut with the Canucks in a home game against St. Louis next Friday. Sundin is yet to have a full practice with his new team.
  • Thrashers rookie D Zach Bogosian, who had been out since late October with a broken leg before returning Wednesday against Carolina, didn't dress as D Nathan Oystrick returned to the lineup.
  • Atlanta C Eric Perrin was a healthy scratch for the second time this season.
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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Daniel (1 goal) and Henrik Sedin (2 goals) record three points each in the losing effort. (Getty Images)
Daniel (1 goal) and Henrik Sedin (2 goals) record three points each in the losing effort. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Vancouver (21-15-4)11100 (1)3
Atlanta  (13-21-5) «11101 (2)4
Three Stars
I. Kovalchuk
ATL


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
H. Sedin
VAN


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1
E. Christensen
ATL


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 1

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Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
09:00Short - Joey Crabb (3), Slap Shot. Assist: Havelid, Reasoner
10:26Power Play - Henrik Sedin (6), Tip-In. Assist: Sedin, Bieksa
2ND PERIOD
07:14Henrik Sedin (7), Tip-In. Assist: Sedin, Demitra
12:24Ilya Kovalchuk (13), Slap Shot. Assist: Williams, Christensen
3RD PERIOD
03:46Power Play - Slava Kozlov (16), Slap Shot. Assist: White, Kovalchuk
11:16Daniel Sedin (19), Tip-In. Assist: Sedin, Demitra
OT
None
SHOOTOUT
 Pavol Demitra (1), GOAL
 Slava Kozlov (2), GOAL
 Erik Christensen (1), GOAL
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
04.0Boulton, 5 min, Fighting
04.0Brown, 5 min, Fighting
08:50Schneider, 2 min, Tripping
09:35Slater, 2 min, Slashing
12:50Brown, 2 min, High-Sticking
12:50Kovalchuk, 2 min, Roughing
16:00Davison, 2 min, Elbowing
2ND PERIOD
09:25Armstrong, 2 min, Tripping
10:04Demitra, 2 min, Interference
14:19Brown, 2 min, Interference
3RD PERIOD
02:16Davison, 2 min, Holding
14:09Wellwood, 2 min, Bench - Too Many Men on the Ice
OT
None
SHOOTOUT
None
Shots On Goal
 123T
Vancouver11151137
Atlanta6141333
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGASO SSO GA
Jason LaBarbera 64:5234342
Kari Lehtonen 65:0035341
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Vancouver1-for-3
Atlanta1-for-5
Game Information
Attendance - 14902
Referees - Stephane Auger, Rob Shick
Linesmen - Mike Cvik, Brian Murphy
 
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