Boston at Atlanta

Auld picks up third win in as many starts with Bruins


ATLANTA -- The Boston Bruins usually get off to a good start. This time, they also finished strong.

Milan Lucic scored the go-ahead goal off a rebound with 3:47 remaining and Alex Auld won his third straight start, leading the Bruins to a 5-3 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Wednesday.

Mark Recchi scored twice in his first game with Atlanta, and Ilya Kovalchuk added his NHL-leading 24th goal as the Thrashers overcame an early 2-0 deficit.

But Lucic scored his second career goal with pure hustle in a 3-3 game. After getting taken down at center ice by Bobby Holik, leading to a delayed penalty against the Thrashers, Lucic got up and headed for the Atlanta net.

Johan Hedberg knocked down Phil Kessel's shot with the blocker, but lost sight of the puck as it fell in the crease. Lucic, at the side of the net, knocked it inside the post before the Thrashers defense could react.

"I was calling for the puck," Lucic said. "(Kessel) put it right into the office, and I put it home."

Boston, one of the league's best-starting teams with a plus-nine scoring edge in the first period coming in, added to that margin with Petteri Nokelainen's goal at 16:01. Peter Schaefer made it 2-0 with a deflection six minutes into the second.

But the Thrashers fought back to lead during the wild period, and still felt good going to the third at 3-all. They had a plus-one scoring edge in the final period, despite entering the game with the worst goal differential (96-80) in the NHL.

"We were right where we needed to be," Atlanta coach Don Waddell said. "We knew the first period was their best period, and the third period is usually ours. We put ourselves in position to win the game."

But the Thrashers couldn't overcome 18 turnovers, including one with 1:07 left in the second that led to Glen Murray's tying goal on a pass from Lucic.

"You can't turn the puck over 18 times and win the game," Waddell said. "We can talk until we're blue in the face, but the guys have to decide to bear down and do the little things."

Boston's Marc Savard added an open-net goal with 3.5 seconds left.

Auld, acquired from Phoenix last week after Tim Thomas was injured, stopped 23 shots to improve to 3-0 with the Bruins. Boston also was without second-leading scorer Marco Sturm, who was scratched after getting struck in the eye with a puck in Monday's win at Buffalo.

"There is no doubt that we have to be happy under the circumstances," coach Claude Julien said. "It's a credit to the guys in there."

Recchi, a 19-year veteran acquired off waivers from Pittsburgh over the weekend, brought the Thrashers back with goals 1:01 apart.

On an Atlanta power play, Marian Hossa sped into the Boston zone along the boards before sending a pass to Recchi breaking free down the middle. He ripped a shot just inside the post for his third goal of the season and 511th of his career.

No. 512 wasn't long in coming. Eric Perrin fired a shot toward the Bruins net that appeared to be going wide, but Recchi, hustling in ahead of Murray, stuck out his stick with his one arm and redirected the puck over Auld's glove.

"I feel very comfortable with the hockey club already," Recchi said. "I hope to continue to help and help us get some wins."

The Thrashers claimed the lead after a series of Boston penalties gave them a two-man advantage for nearly three minutes.

Mark Stuart received a major penalty and game misconduct for a knee-on-knee hit that sent Kovalchuk sprawling to the ice. In rapid succession, Andrew Alberts was sent off for high-sticking and Dennis Wideman picked up a slashing penalty.

After hobbling to the tunnel for a brief check, Kovalchuk returned to the ice to score the go-ahead goal with a 5-on-3 advantage. He gave the puck up from the left point, swooped over to the right side for a return pass from Hossa, and one-timed a blistering shot that was past Auld before he had a chance to react.

"That was the only shot I didn't see," Auld said.

Boston tied it at 3 before the period was done. Lucic claimed the puck along the boards and passed in front to Murray, who appeared to catch Hedberg by surprise when he flipped a shot over the goalie's glove.


  • Boston broke a six-game losing streak against the Thrashers.
  • Hossa stretched his point streak to seven straight games with two assists.
  • Boston D Andrew Ference returned after missing 12 games with a knee sprain.
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Three games, three wins. Boston is a good change of scenery for goaltender Alex Auld. (Getty Images)
Three games, three wins. Boston is a good change of scenery for goaltender Alex Auld. (Getty Images)
Related Links
Boston  (17-10-3) «1225
Atlanta (14-15-1)0303
Three Stars
M. Lucic

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
M. Recchi

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
A. Ference

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2

Related Video

Scoring Summary
16:01Petteri Nokelainen (2), Slap Shot. Assist: Brandon Bochenski, Vladimir Sobotka
05:55Peter Schaefer (6), Tip-In. Assist: Andrew Ference, Phil Kessel
10:28Power Play - Mark Recchi (3), Snap Shot. Assist: Marian Hossa
11:29Mark Recchi (4), Tip-In. Assist: Eric Perrin, Slava Kozlov
16:44Power Play - Ilya Kovalchuk (24), Slap Shot. Assist: Marian Hossa, Tobias Enstrom
18:53Glen Murray (10), Wrist Shot. Assist: Milan Lucic
16:13Milan Lucic (2), Tip-In. Assist: Phil Kessel, Andrew Ference
19:56Marc Savard (7), Empty Net. Assist: P.J. Axelsson
Penalty Summary
06:40Larsen, 4 min, High-Sticking
17:03Kovalchuk, 2 min, Roughing
17:03Savard, 2 min, High-Sticking
09:40Lucic, 2 min, Holding
13:07Hossa, 2 min, Roughing
13:07Stuart, 10 min, Game Misconduct
13:07Stuart, 5 min, Kneeing
13:52Alberts, 2 min, High-Sticking
15:38Wideman, 2 min, Slashing
05:12Holik, 2 min, Slashing
Shots On Goal
Alex Auld59:44233
Johan Hedberg59:09284
Game Information
Attendance - 14265
Referees - Brian Pochmara, Rob Shick
Linesmen - Pat Dapuzzo, Jay Sharrers
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