NHL Game Summary - Washington at Atlanta|
(Monday, March 16th)
Final Score: Atlanta 5, Washington 1
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Kari Lehtonen was stellar in net as he made 49
saves to help the Atlanta Thrashers set a franchise record with their sixth
straight win in a 5-1 defeat of the Washington Capitals.
Tobias Enstrom and Slava Kozlov each had a goal and an assist for the
Thrashers, who have won seven of their last eight overall, but despite their
recent success still have the third-worst record in the Eastern Conference.
"The puck was bouncing my way," said Lehtonen. "I think it was a good home
game after a long road trip. The shutout didn't really matter. I was just
happy to play well and get the team a victory."
Atlanta was again without star winger Ilya Kovalchuk as he missed his second
straight game with an upper-body injury.
Jose Theodore started the game in net, but was pulled after giving up four
goals on 19 shots for the Capitals, who had a three-game winning streak
stopped. Simeon Varlamov came on in relief and allowed one goal on six shots.
"Kari Lehtonen was great all game, but we were really bad in the first two
periods," said Washington coach Bruce Boudreau. "We had two hits in the first
period and 29 percent on faceoffs, we were giving the puck away, we didn't
force on the penalty kill. We did everything wrong a team could do and they
played very smart."
Eric Fehr scored late in the third period for Washington, which sits in the
third spot in the Eastern Conference with 92 points, one behind New Jersey.
The Thrashers got on the scoreboard halfway through the first period to take a
1-0 lead. Rich Peverley had the puck and kept it on the backhand as he skated
by two defenders. From the left circle he backhanded the puck on net and Colby
Armstrong was on the right doorstep to knock in the rebound.
On the power play, Atlanta took a 2-0 lead with 4:17 left in the first as
Kozlov's wrister from the right circle got past Theodore.
Lehtonen was busy in the first period as he had to make 14 saves to keep the
Caps off the board.
Atlanta again used the power play to light the lamp as a quick wrister from
Anssi Salmela from the right circle found its way through a screen for his
first career NHL goal at the 7:18 mark of the second.
The Thrashers scored their third power-play goal of the game at the 12:59 mark
of the second to take a 4-0 lead when Enstrom's slap shot from the right point
went through a screen and just inside the left post to chase Theodore from the
Lehtonen was again sharp in the second period when he stopped 16 shots.
Eric Perrin's wrister off his own rebound with 3:22 to play accounted for the
final Atlanta goal.
Washington ruined Lehtonen's shutout bid with 1:15 to play as Fehr knocked in
a rebound down low.
The Caps continue their five-game road trip in Florida on Tuesday...Atlanta
plays in Pittsburgh on Tuesday...Washington had won four of the last five
against Atlanta coming into the game...The goal was Perrin's 100th career
point...It was Lehtonen's 200th career game.
03/16 22:15:57 ET