Detroit at Atlanta

Thrashers waste big lead before holding on to beat Red Wings


ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Thrashers have a long way to go on defense, but they know how to score, especially on the power play.

"They have a ton of offensive talent," said Detroit coach Mike Babcock after Patrik Stefan scored a late goal to help Thrashers escape with a 7-6 win over the Red Wings on Tuesday night.

The Thrashers showed their scoring potential with four second-period goals. Then they showed how poor their defense can be by giving up a four-goal lead in the third period.

The Red Wings rallied from a 6-2 deficit with four goals in the first nine minutes of the third period.

The Thrashers finally recovered as Stefan's second goal of the game with 4:11 left in the third period put Atlanta back in the lead.

The Thrashers beat the Red Wings for the first in franchise history.

Stefan's go-ahead goal came on a breakaway as Detroit's Andreas Lilja lost his stick and was unable to block the shot.

"We came back and won the game in the last minutes against a strong team," Stefan said. "I think the most important thing was to stay out of the penalty box. They have a great power play. We scored some big goals on the power play and then they scored some on the power play."

Pavel Datsyuk scored two goals for the Red Wings, who had a three-game winning streak end and had been unbeaten in seven games all-time against Atlanta.

Even with the 6-2 lead, the Thrashers were worried knowing Detroit would open the third period with a two-man advantage.

"I thought if we don't get our act together we are gonna make this close," Thrashers goaltender Michael Garnett said.

As it turned out, Detroit pulled even at 6-6 midway through the period.

"It was like a photocopy (of the second period), just reverse it," Thrashers coach Bob Hartley said.

The Thrashers fell into penalty trouble early in the third period. The Red Wings scored just one even-strength goal in the third period.

Brendan Shanahan sparked the flurry for Detroit 24 seconds into the period on a 5-on-3 power play. Shanahan also had four assists for five points.

"It was his 1,300th game and he gets five points, so that shows you where he's at," Babcock said. "He was sick tonight. He should be sick more often."

An even-strength goal by Jason Williams was quickly followed by power-play goals by Mathieu Schneider and Tomas Holmstrom, who tied the game 8:41 into the period.

After Atlanta took a 3-2 lead early in the second period, Babcock decided it was time to change goaltenders, pulling Jimmy Howard for Chris Osgood.

Atlanta scored three power-play goals in a span of less than two minutes against Osgood to take the big lead.

"It didn't work tonight," said Babcock of changing goalies. "Would I do it all over again? Absolutely."

Slava Kozlov, a former Red Wing, sparked the run as the Thrashers made good on a two-man advantage. Marian Hossa added his 15th goal and Ronald Petrovicky's breakaway capped the second-period scoring spree, giving the Thrashers a 6-2 lead.

Bobby Holik scored for Atlanta early in the second period off Howard, who was pulled after stopping 13 of 16 shots.

J.P. Vigier opened the game by scoring an unassisted goal on a short-handed breakaway, with Brad Larson skating by his side, to give the Thrashers an early 1-0 lead.

Detroit answered with a power-play goal by Datsyuk in a two-man advantage to pull even at 1-1. With less than three minutes left in the opening period, Stefan scored his first goal of the game.

Garnett stopped 30 of 36 shots for Atlanta.


  • Atlanta recalled D Mark Popovic from Chicago of the AHL Tuesday to fill in for Andy Sutton, who is out with flu symptoms.
  • The Red Wings were without captain Steve Yzerman. Yzerman injured his groin in practice on Sunday and is expected to miss two to four weeks.
  • With Detroit's loss, Dallas and Minnesota are the only NHL teams who have never lost to Atlanta.
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Patrick Stefan beats goalie Jimmy Howard despite having two Detroit defensemen around him. (AP)
Patrick Stefan beats goalie Jimmy Howard despite having two Detroit defensemen around him. (AP)
Detroit (21-9-2)1146
Atlanta  (12-16-4) «2417
Three Stars
P. Stefan

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
B. Shanahan

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 4
S. Kozlov

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2

Related Video

Scoring Summary
03:53Short - J.P. Vigier (2), Snap Shot - Unassisted.
11:23Power Play - Pavel Datsyuk (11), Slap Shot - Assists: Brendan Shanahan and Nicklas Lidstrom
17:05Patrik Stefan (4), Wrist Shot - Assists: Greg de Vries and Slava Kozlov
02:04Pavel Datsyuk (12), Snap Shot - Assists: Brendan Shanahan and Brett Lebda
03:07Bobby Holik (7), Tip-In - Assists: Brad Larsen and J.P. Vigier
06:05Power Play - Slava Kozlov (9), Snap Shot - Assists: Ilya Kovalchuk and Marc Savard
06:48Power Play - Marian Hossa (15), Snap Shot - Assists: Bobby Holik and Slava Kozlov
08:01Power Play - Ronald Petrovicky (6), Snap Shot - Unassisted.
00:24Power Play - Brendan Shanahan (18), Snap Shot - Assists: Nicklas Lidstrom and Mathieu Schneider
02:02Jason Williams (10), Snap Shot - Assists: Brendan Shanahan and Brett Lebda
08:01Power Play - Mathieu Schneider (10), Snap Shot - Assists: Brendan Shanahan and Tomas Holmstrom
08:41Power Play - Tomas Holmstrom (11), Tip-In - Assists: Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk
15:49Patrik Stefan (5), Snap Shot - Assist: Serge Aubin
Penalty Summary
03:00Boulton: Interference with goal tender. - 2 min.
10:10Slater: Holding - 2 min.
10:37Aubin: Holding - 2 min.
19:28Draper: High sticking - 2 min.
03:47Schneider: High sticking - 4 min.
04:57Cleary: Hooking - 2 min.
06:30Lilja: Hooking - 2 min.
16:09Vigier: Interference - 2 min.
18:58Havelid: Interference - 2 min.
19:43Larsen: Hooking - 2 min.
05:16Lebda: Holding - 2 min.
06:28Modry: Holding - 2 min.
07:08Hossa: Holding - 2 min.
12:39Samuelsson: Hooking - 2 min.
Detroit101313 36
Atlanta14810 32
Attendance - 17559
Game Time - 60:00
Referees - Mike Leggo, Rob Martell
Line Judges - Mike Cvik, Tim Nowak
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