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NHL Game Summary - Montreal at Atlanta



(Friday, March 6th)

Final Score: Atlanta 2, Montreal 0

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Kari Lehtonen recorded his second shutout on the year behind 25 saves, and the Atlanta Thrashers logged a 2-0 decision against the Montreal Canadiens at Philips Arena.

Bryan Little's power-play goal late in the first was all Atlanta needed in winning for the second time in three tries. Rich Peverley added an empty-net marker late in the third period to seal the victory.

It was Lehtonen's 13th career whitewashing and helped the Thrashers move to 2-1-0 on a four-game homestand and 12-18-2 at Philips Arena this year. Atlanta wraps up the residency on Sunday versus Calgary.

"We've got a young team out there. I'm very happy with what happened out there. I thought we played great in the third period. The third period gave us the win," Atlanta head coach John Anderson said.

Ilya Kovalchuk collected assists on both goals, giving him five goals and six assists over a six-game point streak. The sniper also has 24 points (14 goals, 10 assists) over his last 12 games.

Carey Price got a second straight start in net while Jaroslav Halak is battling an illness and took the loss for a second time in three days and for a seventh consecutive time overall. He did halt 26-of-27 shots, though, a marked improvement over Wednesday's 5-1 loss to Buffalo, where he allowed all five on 27 shots.

The Habs had won four straight behind Halak, who seems to have supplanted Price as the starter for now. Three of those tests were at the Bell Centre, though, and Montreal just can't seem to straighten things out on the road.

The Canadiens fell to 0-2-0 on a brief three-game trip ending Sunday in Dallas, 14-18-3 as the guest this season and have lost five of six and 12 of their last 14 games on the road.

"We had four wins there where everyone thought our goalie stole the win for us. Now we play two games where goalies on the other side stole for them," Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau said. "Again, I like the effort, the effort was better; that's what we have to concentrate on."

Little snuck a loose puck past Price at the left side of the net for the 1-0 lead at 17:28 of the first.

The game stayed that way as Atlanta's Colin Stuart rang a puck off the far post on a right-wing rush late in the second and Lehtonen stonewalled five second-period shots.

Lehtonen was tested with 12 shots in the third and none better than on a Tomas Plekanec scoring chance in front with about 2 1/2 minutes to play. Plekanec found himself all alone in front but Lehtonen stuck out the right pad for a stop and plugged the rebound as well. Peverley added his tally after Price was pulled for the extra attacker with 36 seconds left.

Game Notes

The Thrashers took a 2-1 lead in the season series, with each team having won on home ice thus far...Atlanta got the all-important one on eight power-play chances while Montreal went 0-for-5 with the man advantage...Canadiens left wing Alex Tanguay returned to the lineup following a 26-game absence due to a separated left shoulder.

03/06 23:16:49 ET

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