Ottawa at Atlanta

Thrashers 6, Senators 1


ATLANTA -- Thrashers coach John Anderson believes he got his players' attention with a difficult, unannounced practice two days ago.

"As a coaching staff, it helps us teach because they were doing the things that we were asking," Anderson said. "When you get a few bounces here and there, that's what creates confidence."

Ilya Kovalchuk had a goal and two assists, and Atlanta beat Ottawa 6-1 Tuesday night for its first regulation victory in 21 games.

The Thrashers, who had lost 11 of their previous 12, were coming off an embarrassing 8-1 home loss to Southeast Division rival Washington on Saturday.

Ottawa lost its fifth straight.

Atlanta goaltender Ondrej Pavelec made 30 saves and the Thrashers held Ottawa to 0 for 2 on power plays. The Senators' NHL-worst power play percentage dipped to 14.0.

"It was special for me," Pavelec said. "It was a big game. We need the points."

Already without captain Daniel Alfredsson, who's recovering from a separated shoulder, the Senators played their second straight game without defenseman Filip Kuba (upper body) and third straight without Milan Michalek (upper body). Centers Jason Spezza (knee) and Jesse Winchester (knee) are out indefinitely.

"When you give a team a two-goal lead in the first period, it's tough to dig yourself out of it," Senators center Chris Kelly. "They kept rolling. We're in a slump, a tough spot right now."

The Thrashers scored the go-ahead goal on defenseman Pavel Kubina's slap shot 17:08 into the first, following Peter Regin's tying goal at the 7:29 mark of the first period.

Kovalchuk made it 3-1 with a wrister at 18:31 that gave him 17 points in his last 20 games.

Eric Boulton, whose tip-in made it 1-0 on the power play 3:36 into the first, credits Anderson with canceling the players' off day Sunday and scheduling a rigorous workout.

For the first time since Nov. 30, when the Thrashers beat Florida 4-3 for their most recent regulation victory, Boulton thought the team played intensely for 60 minutes.

"We were pressing," Boulton said. "We got a couple of quick goals early but we kept pressing and got the win."

Todd White scored his first goal in 35 games to give the Thrashers a 4-1 lead early in the second.

Tobias Enstrom put the Thrashers up 5-1 with a wrister from the left circle 9:43 into the second. Kovalchuk, after controlling his own rebound, passed from behind the net for Enstrom's fourth goal.

"We had two or three scoring chances from point blank on breakaways," Ottawa coach Cory Clouston said. "Obviously, we've got to score those opportunities, and when they get their chances, we've got to make the save."

Bryan Little made it 6-1 early in the third, scoring on a breakaway for his sixth goal.

Thrashers defenseman Chris Thorburn thinks his team set the tone in practice.

"We worked hard in practice on battling hard and trying to get some crease goals," Thorburn said. "It paid off for us tonight."


Atlanta defenseman Christoph Schubert's night ended midway through the first with a game misconduct and a major boarding penalty against Ottawa F Jonathan Cheechoo. ... The Thrashers last scored three first-period goals on Dec. 19, but lost 5-4 despite chasing New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur before the second. ... White has just four goals through 44 games. He played a full 82-game schedule last year and finished with 22.

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.
Ottawa (22-21-4)1001
Atlanta  (20-19-6) «3216
Three Stars
O. Pavelec

Saves: 30
Save Pct.: .968
E. Boulton

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
C. Thorburn

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 1

Related Video

Scoring Summary
03:36Power Play - Eric Boulton (2), Tip-In. Assist: Kozlov, White
12:01Peter Regin (6), Slap Shot. Assist: Neil, Ruutu
17:08Pavel Kubina (5), Slap Shot. Assist: Hainsey, Kovalchuk
18:31Ilya Kovalchuk (26), Slap Shot. Assist: Thorburn, Peverley
02:02Todd White (4), Snap Shot. Assist: Kozlov
09:43Tobias Enstrom (4), Wrist Shot. Assist: Kovalchuk, Little
14.0Bryan Little (6), Slap Shot. Assist: Slater, Pavelec
Penalty Summary
01:47Neil, 2 min, Hooking
04:46Donovan, 5 min, Fighting
04:46Valabik, 5 min, Fighting
05:01Schubert, 5 min, Boarding
05:01Schubert, 10 min, Game Misconduct
08:19Kovalev, 2 min, Slashing
09:21Volchenkov, 2 min, Holding
04:33Boulton, 5 min, Fighting
04:33Neil, 5 min, Fighting
06:32Armstrong, 2 min, Tripping
15:00Ruutu, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
15:00Kozlov, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
10:43Donovan, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
14:34Neil, 10 min, Misconduct
14:34Boulton, 10 min, Misconduct
16:45Donovan, 2 min, High-Sticking
Shots On Goal
Brian Elliott40:00113
Pascal Leclaire20:00113
Ondrej Pavelec59:53301
Game Information
Attendance - 10017
Referees - Dean Morton, Tim Peel
Linesmen - Jean Morin, Jay Sharrers
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