Atlanta at Chicago

Thrashers 3, Blackhawks 2


CHICAGO -- Two of the Atlanta Thrashers' top offensive threats came through to lift them to a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night.

Ilya Kovalchuk scored a tie-breaking goal early in the third period and set up Vyacheslav Kozlov's two power-play scores. Kovalchuk connected on a breakaway at 3:51 of the third to snap a 1-all tie, as Atlanta handed Chicago its third straight loss.

After losing their first six games this season, the Thrashers are 3-2 in their last five.

"You need your best players to be your stars and they were tonight," Thrashers general manager and interim coach Don Waddell said.

Added goalie Johan Hedberg: "We have some real dynamic players on our team and it's good for us to get them going."

Hedberg finished with 29 saves in a strong effort.

Although Kovalchuk and Kozlov scored in the third period to give Atlanta a 3-1 lead, the Thrashers had to hold on and played the final 2:15 short-handed.

Chicago's Patrick Kane, the NHL's first overall draft pick last summer, scored a power-play goal in the second period. Jason Williams connected during a power play with 1:09 left to cut it to 3-2 and set up Kane's goal.

"We're going through some tough times now," Kovalchuk said. "Even tonight, we're up 3-1 and took unnecessary penalties. They almost tied the game.

"We're in pretty good shape. If we want to turn our season around, we have to work hard every night."

Chicago rookie Jonathan Toews also assisted on Kane's goal to extend his point streak to nine games. Toews, who missed Chicago's first two games with a broken finger, has a point in each contest he's played so far.

Lalime blocked 19 shots.

"I think we took it to them pretty hard tonight, actually," Kane said. "We've got to finish our chances.

"I guess that's just bad bounces," he added. "Maybe we can get a lucky one, a rebound of something."

Chicago coach Denis Savard agreed.

"We played a strong game," Savard said. "We're snake-bit right now. We missed some great opportunities."

Kozlov deflected Kovalchuk's shot from the top of the left circle and past Lalime during a 5-on-3 Atlanta advantage at 10:06 of the first period to open the scoring.

Kane's power-play goal at 5:08 of the second tied it at 1. He beat Hedberg on the short side with a shot from the right circle after taking Williams' cross-ice pass.

Kovalchuk converted a breakaway at 3:51 of the third to give Atlanta a 2-1 lead. Following a Chicago turnover and feed from Darren Haydar, he broke in alone down right wing from center ice and beat Lalime with a shot between the legs.

Kozlov made it 3-1 at 7:53. Kovalchuk picked off a pass at the right point off the Chicago zone, then fed it to Kozlov who was alone in front of Lalime.

Williams scored a power-play goal through a screen with Lalime on the bench for an extra attacker with 1:09 left to complete the scoring.


Chicago LW Dave Koci missed his first game on injured reserve with a broken nose. Blackhawks D Andrei Zyuzin sat out with a pulled hip muscle. ... Chicago recalled C Dave Bolland from Rockford of the AHL for Saturday's game. ... Atlanta G Kari Lehtonen missed his fourth game with a groin strain. ... Chicago's healthy scratches were LW Sergei Sansonov and D Danny Richmond. Atlanta's were D Steve McCarthy, LW Pascal Dupuis and LW Brett Sterling.

Copyright 2017 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.
Atlanta  (3-8-0) «1023
Chicago (5-6-0)0112
Three Stars
I. Kovalchuk

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
P. Kane

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
J. Hedberg

Saves: 29
Save Pct.: .935

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Scoring Summary
10:06Power Play - Slava Kozlov (3), Tip-In. Assist: Ilya Kovalchuk, Tobias Enstrom
05:08Power Play - Patrick Kane (4), Wrist Shot. Assist: Jason Williams, Jonathan Toews
03:51Ilya Kovalchuk (6), Wrist Shot. Assist: Darren Haydar
07:53Power Play - Slava Kozlov (4), Slap Shot. Assist: Ilya Kovalchuk
18:51Power Play - Jason Williams (4), Wrist Shot. Assist: Robert Lang
Penalty Summary
02:19Holik, 2 min, Cross Check
08:19Kane, 2 min, Holding the stick
09:08Sopel, 2 min, Tripping
10:31Keith, 2 min, Roughing
07:02Holik, 2 min, Cross Check
16:53Havelid, 2 min, Tripping
03:53Hedberg, 2 min, Cross Check
17:39Holik, 2 min, Holding the stick
04:35Perrin, 2 min, Tripping
06:46Keith, 2 min, Holding
11:26Slater, 2 min, Kneeing
11:26Ruutu, 2 min, Roughing
11:26Keith, 2 min, Roughing
11:26Holik, 10 min, Game Misconduct
11:26Thorburn, 10 min, Gross Misconduct
11:26Thorburn, 2 min, Roughing
11:55Kane, 2 min, Holding
17:45Exelby, 2 min, Slashing
18:51Hedberg, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
Johan Hedberg59:55292
Patrick Lalime58:20193
Game Information
Attendance - 15789
Referees - Greg Kimmerly, Bill McCreary
Linesmen - Michel Cormier, Vaughan Rody
Other Games
Fla 3 Final
Nash 4
Dal 5 Final
Pho 3
SJ 1 Final
Colu 2
Mon 4 Final
Pitt 3
Phi 2 Final
Bos 1
Ott 4 Final
NJ 1
Buf 4 Final
TB 3
Edm 1 Final
LA 4
Wash 3 Final
StL 4
Car 8 Final
Tor 4 Final