NHL Game Summary - Vancouver at Atlanta
(Friday, January 2nd)
Final Score: Atlanta 4, Vancouver 3 (SO)
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Eric Christensen scored the game-winner in the shootout as the Atlanta Thrashers got past the Vancouver Canucks, 4-3, at Philips Arena.
In the fourth round of the shootout, Christensen skated on net and went from the backhand to the forehand before stuffing the puck past Jason LaBarbera.
Daniel Sedin had the last chance for Vancouver to keep the game going, but his shot was tipped over the net by Kari Lehtonen.
Ilya Kovalchuk had a goal and an assist while Slava Kozlov and Joseph Crabb each lit the lamp for the Thrashers, who stopped a four-game losing streak. Lehtonen made 35 saves in the win.
"It was a tough game," said Atlanta coach John Anderson. "Vancouver plays in a pretty tough division, but I thought we handled it well. Everything worked out good."
The Sedin twins combined for six points with Henrik having two goals and an assist and Daniel finishing with a goal and two assists for the Canucks, who have lost four of their last six. LaBarbera made 34 saves in the loss.
"There are no easy games in this league," said Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault. "We had lots of good chances, but weren't able to put them away."
With the score tied in the third, Atlanta took the lead at the 3:46 mark on the power play. Todd White attempted to charge the net from the low right side, but the puck got lost in the scramble. However, Kozlov stepped up and backhanded home the loose puck for a 3-2 lead.
However, Vancouver tied the game with 8:44 left in regulation. Henrik Sedin held the puck at the left point and fired a shot on net that his brother, Daniel, tipped between his legs and past Lehtonen.
It was a spirited overtime period as Atlanta had several scoring chances, but none found the back of the net and the game went to the shootout.
Atlanta jumped out to a 1-0 lead at the nine-minute mark of the first period while shorthanded. In his own end, Niclas Havelid lifted the puck high out of the zone and Crabb raced down the right wing. As he caught up to it at the left circle, Crabb blew a slap shot past LaBarbera for his third goal of the season.
However, Vancouver tied the game just 1:26 later while skating with a 5-on-3 advantage. Kevin Bieksa blasted a slap shot from the high slot that Lehtonen stopped, but Henrik Sedin was on the doorstep to stuff home the rebound.
The Canucks made it a 2-1 game at the 7:14 mark of the second as Daniel Sedin fired a pass from behind the net to the low right side for his brother, who tapped it in for his seventh goal of the season.
However, Atlanta answered with 7:36 left in the frame as Jason Williams, parked behind the net, hit Kovalchuk, who one-timed it from the left circle as he was falling to the ice for his 13th goal of the season.
Vancouver hosts Dallas on Sunday...Atlanta hosts Tampa Bay on Sunday...The shorthanded goal was Atlanta's first this season...Vancouver had won three in a row in Atlanta...Vancouver went 1-for-3 on the power play while Atlanta finished the game 1-for-5.
01/02 22:59:26 ET