New York at Atlanta

Islanders 5, Thrashers 2


ATLANTA -- Spending last season with Atlanta gave Mike Dunham an appreciation for Marian Hossa and Ilya Kovalchuk.

So it was no surprise the New York Islanders goalie felt satisfied after stopping the prolific Thrashers scorers.

"They have the power to do it," Dunham said. "We knew they would get their chances. We just wanted to keep them to a minimum."

Jason Blake scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period and Miroslav Satan had a goal and two assists to help the Islanders beat the Thrashers 5-2 on Thursday night.

After blowing a 3-0 lead in the third period on Wednesday and losing to Detroit in overtime, the Islanders couldn't hold a 2-1 advantage as Jim Slater's wrister got by Dunham on the stick side with 10:23 remaining.

Blake bailed out New York with a breakaway goal 2:19 later, sending the puck from the right circle over the shoulder of goalie Kari Lehtonen. It was his fourth goal in five games and his team-leading 27th.

Dunham battled injuries as Lehtonen's backup last season, appearing in just 17 games and posting an 8-5-2 record. He watched Hossa and Kovalchuk practice nearly every day, however, and worked against both players many times.

"Sometimes goalies come back to a team that released them last year with something to prove," Islanders coach Ted Nolan said. "He played well tonight."

Hossa, whose scored the winning goal against New Jersey on Tuesday, missed a penalty shot in the second period after Brendan Witt tackled him to prevent a breakaway. Hossa's drive clanked off the outside of the right post.

"I got lucky on the penalty shot," Dunham said. "He hit the post. When you play the game, anything can happen, so whatever you're familiar with from practices goes out the window."

Kovalchuk, the NHL leader in power-play goals last year and seventh this season, thrust his left arm in frustration after he blew a chance with 16:44 remaining.

Atlanta has failed to score a power-play goal in five of six games, going a combined 3-for-30. The Thrashers also blew a 5-on-3 opportunity in the first period.

"I got a lot of chances," Kovalchuk said. "I need to shoot 100 percent."

Trent Hunter's 12th goal, which came on the power play with 3:59 left, made it 4-2. Victor Kozlov scored twice, including an empty-netter.

New York earned three of a possible four points in Atlanta during a seven-day span. The Islanders fell behind 3-0 to the Thrashers in the opening six minutes last Friday but rallied to force overtime.

Atlanta, the Southeast Division leader, had won three of four and five of seven.

"I felt at 2-2 that we missed a lot of good scoring chances," Thrashers coach Bob Hartley said. "We could have scored 20 goals. What counts is that we had the game, we had the crowd behind us and the momentum, and we gave it away."

The Islanders had lost five of seven and 11 of 15 to fall into 11th place in the East. New York has earned points in five straight games -- four since the All-Star break.

Nolan rested center Alexei Yashin, who has tendinitis in his right knee, and No. 1 goalie Rick DiPietro, who was knocked out quickly by the Thrashers in the previous meeting after he allowed three goals on five shots.

"Especially after the last so-called defeat, we responded well," Nolan said of his team's loss to Detroit. "Missing the people we were, it was a good win for us."

Randy Robitaille moved up to replace Yashin on the top line, and the Islanders promoted Jeff Tambellini from AHL Bridgeport to play forward on the second line.

Tambellini finished with three assists, two of which set up Kozlov. Robitaille recorded his 15th assist on Blake's goal.

"Any time you face a team with the firepower they have, you have to try to contain them," Tambellini said.


Dunham, who faced 32 shots, improved to 4-5-3. ... Lehtonen, who made 26 saves, dropped to 24-14-7. ... Atlanta fell to 17-6-5 when scoring first. ... The Islanders are 5-17-4 in games in which they've trailed 1-0.

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Related Links
NY Islanders  (24-21-6) «1135
Atlanta (29-17-8)1012
Three Stars
J. Blake

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
M. Dunham

Saves: 30
Save Pct.: .938
J. Slater

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

Related Video

Scoring Summary
06:08Jon Sim (13), Wrap Shot - Assists: Scott Mellanby, Jim Slater
08:06Viktor Kozlov (17), Tip-In - Assists: Miroslav Satan, Jeff Tambellini
11:11Miroslav Satan (15), Snap Shot - Assists: Jeff Tambellini, Sean Hill
09:37Jim Slater (4), Wrist Shot - Assists: Niclas Havelid, Scott Mellanby
11:56Jason Blake (27), Wrist Shot - Assists: Randy Robitaille, Radek Martinek
16:01Power Play - Trent Hunter (12), Tip-In - Assists: Sean Hill, Viktor Kozlov
18:15Viktor Kozlov (18), Empty Net - Assists: Miroslav Satan, Jeff Tambellini
Penalty Summary
00:48Tambellini: Holding - 2 min.
14:12Hill: Hooking - 2 min.
14:56Martinek: Tripping - 2 min.
01:41Sutton: Interference - 2 min.
02:09Exelby: Interference - 2 min.
05:41Campoli: Hooking - 2 min.
15:43Kovalchuk: Cross Check - 2 min.
19:06Sillinger: Boarding - 2 min.
02:11Rourke: High sticking - 2 min.
14:30Mellanby: Interference - 2 min.
New York1113731
Mike Dunham60:00302
Kari Lehtonen59:46264
Game Information
Attendance - 13543
Referees - Mike Hasenfratz, Dean Morton
Linesmen - Mark Pare, Mark Shewchyk
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