Toronto at Atlanta

Peverley's overtime goal completes Atlanta's four-goal comeback

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- Newcomer Rich Peverley scored the winning goal for the Atlanta Thrashers, then credited Ilya Kovalchuk with the victory.

Peverley scored by knocking in a rebound of Kovalchuk's shot with 69 seconds left in overtime to give the Thrashers a 4-3 comeback victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday.

"It's tremendous to be able to contribute," said Peverley, playing his second game with the Thrashers after being obtained on waivers from Nashville on Jan. 10. "To get an overtime winner was great but it was also a great play by Kovalchuk."

The Thrashers ended a two-game losing streak and won for only the third time in 11 games. Atlanta also won for only the third time in its last 15 games at home (3-10-2). Toronto, which blew a 3-0 first-period lead, lost for the fifth time in six games.

"The rebound kicked out and he (Peverley) shot it," Toronto goalie Vesa Toskala said. "When you have a three-goal lead, you have to find a way to play the whole game."

Toronto was outshot 38-17. The Leafs had eight shots in the opening period and only nine the rest of the night.

"It wasn't the start we wanted, but after the first period we woke up and I think we played our best two periods," Kovalchuk said.

Atlanta tied it at 3 with 4:53 left in regulation on Kovalchuk's second goal of the game and 18th of the season. He scored off a perfect pass from Peverley.

"The second period they took it to us," Toronto coach Ron Wilson said. "The third we were fine but a couple of missed assignments and the puck is in the net. What are you going to do?"

Kovalchuk assisted on the winning goal, his shot caroming off Toskala to Peverley at the edge of the net. Peverley skated on a line with Kovalchuk and assisted on both of his goals.

"We let the lead slip away. We kind of sat back a little too much and let them come at us instead of sticking with our game plan," Toronto's Dominic Moore said.

Toronto took a 3-0 lead after the first period, scoring twice in a 56-second span late in the period.

Lee Stempniak opened the scoring, beating Johan Hedberg on a power play off a rebound of Tomas Kaberle's shot. Then Moore scored his ninth, deflecting a shot by Luke Schenn past Hedberg at the 18:44 mark. Niklas Hagman followed with his 13th with a 10-foot wrist shot at 19:40 to a chorus of boos from the Atlanta crowd. When the period ended, the boos were even louder.

Hedberg was replaced by Kari Lehtonen at the start of the second period.

The boos quickly turned to cheers when Kovalchuk, Atlanta's only All-Star this season, scored his 17th goal only 1:10 into the second period, beating Toskala on a shot from the right circle.

The Thrashers cut it to 3-2 on Bryan Little's goal -- his 20th -- at 15:38. Atlanta outshot Toronto 17-3 in the middle period.

Notes

  • The Maple Leafs are 1-5 in the second half of games on back-to-back nights this season. The Leafs beat Carolina 6-4 Thursday night.
  • Peverley drew an assist on Kovalchuk's first goal, his first point as a Thrasher. He had two goals and seven assists for Nashville in 28 games.
  • Toskala was 5-0-1 with a 1.81 GAA against the Thrashers prior to Friday night.
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Rich Peverley, playing in his second game with the Thrashers, scores the winning goal. (AP)
Rich Peverley, playing in his second game with the Thrashers, scores the winning goal. (AP)

Scoreboard
Toronto (17-21-7)30003
Atlanta  (15-25-5) «02114
Three Stars
I. Kovalchuk
ATL


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1
R. Peverley
ATL


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
B. Little
ATL


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
12:53Power Play - Lee Stempniak (7), Wrist Shot. Assist: Kaberle, Kubina
18:44Dominic Moore (9), Tip-In. Assist: Schenn, Tlusty
19:40Niklas Hagman (13), Slap Shot. Assist: Antropov, Grabovski
2ND PERIOD
01:10Ilya Kovalchuk (17), Wrist Shot. Assist: Peverley, Armstrong
15:38Bryan Little (20), Backhand Shot. Assist: White, Schneider
3RD PERIOD
15:08Ilya Kovalchuk (18), Wrist Shot. Assist: Peverley, Hainsey
OT
03:51Rich Peverley (3), Wrist Shot. Assist: Kovalchuk, Hainsey
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
11:21Bogosian, 2 min, Tripping
14:02Frogren, 2 min, Interference
2ND PERIOD
06:10Schneider, 2 min, Interference
13:08Stralman, 2 min, Hooking
3RD PERIOD
01:02Kubina, 2 min, Cross-Checking
04:17Christensen, 2 min, Bench - Too Many Men on the Ice
05:09Kubina, 2 min, Tripping
09:29Slater, 2 min, Hooking
OT
None
Shots On Goal
 123T
Toronto83617
Atlanta817934
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Vesa Toskala 63:36344
Johan Hedberg20:0053
Kari Lehtonen43:5190
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Toronto1-for-4
Atlanta0-for-4
Game Information
Attendance - 15619
Referees - Chris Lee, Brad Meier
Linesmen - Tim Nowak, Jay Sharrers
 
Other Games
NYR 3 Final
OT
Chi 2
Ana 1 Final
Pitt 3
Phi 3 Final
Fla 2
Edm 3 Final
Colo 2
NJ 2 Final
Colu 1