NHL Game Summary - Atlanta at Anaheim
(Sunday, February 15th)
Final Score: Atlanta 8, Anaheim 4
Anaheim, CA (Sports Network) - Ilya Kovalchuk's hat trick helped the Atlanta Thrashers drop the Anaheim Ducks, 8-4, at the Honda Center.
Kovalchuk added an assist and now has 27 goals on the season. Bryan Little notched his 22nd goal of the season and assisted on another while Colin Stuart also logged a goal and an assist for the Thrashers, who had lost three of four and claimed victory for just the third time in the last 10.
"It feels good when you score and the team wins," Kovalchuk said. "It's the right way to start a road trip, with a big win. Then we got a big game tomorrow. We have to be more consistent and win a couple games on the road to feel better about ourselves."
Kari Lehtonen made 31 saves while Rich Peverley, Colby Armstrong and Niclas Havelid also scored in the win, Atlanta's third straight on the road as the club opened a season-high four-game road trip.
Teemu Selanne had two goals and an assist for the Ducks, who were trying for their first three-game winning streak in over two months. Anaheim last won three straight games during a four-game win streak from November 22-30.
"For whatever reason we weren't able to get it going today," said Anaheim head coach Randy Carlyle. "These are games that the puck bounced away from us, and our skill set was very, very poor."
Andrew Ebbett logged a goal and two helpers while Bobby Ryan scored and assisted on another for the losers.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere allowed five goals on 25 shots and was pulled in favor of Jonas Hiller, who stopped 15-of-17 shots. Giguere had won back-to-back starts after losing his previous four outings.
Peverley went five-hole on Giguere 3:57 into the game but Selanne's one-timer from the left circle off a cross-ice feed from Ebbett tied the game 1:31 later.
Little wheeled around and ripped a shot over Giguere's glove from the low left circle for a power-play goal that made it 2-1 after one, and Kovalchuk's one- timer to open the second while on a 5-on-3 provided a two-goal advantage.
Armstrong gathered a loose puck in the crease for a goal at 5:41 and Kovalchuk's second and third goals, separated by 37 seconds, made it a 6-1 affair.
Todd White circled on the right wing and dropped the puck back to Kovalchuk for a one-timer at 7:40 that ended Giguere's night prematurely, and then Kovalchuk snapped off a wrister from the left wing that easily beat Hiller.
The Ducks scored the next two goals, as Brett Festerling's shot from the right point was tipped in by Selanne at 14:05 of the second, and Ryan opened the third with a low wrister from the right circle that cut the deficit in half and gave the hosts some momentum.
That momentum was short-lived, however, as Stuart picked off an errant Anaheim pass in the neutral zone while shorthanded and snapped off a wrist shot from the right wing that eluded Hiller and quashed any hopes of a comeback.
Ebbett scored off the rebound of a Selanne offering just past the midway point of the period, but that would be it for the Ducks, and Havelid added an empty- net goal for Atlanta to cap things.
Anaheim had taken two straight and six of the last eight meetings with the Thrashers prior to Sunday's setback. The last time the clubs met was on December 13, 2006, when the Ducks recorded a 2-1 victory...Anaheim is 15-12-3 as the host this year and had won two straight and three of its last four at the Honda Center coming in...Atlanta's White and Ron Hainsey had two assists while Anaheim's Festerling also posted a pair of helpers.
02/16 01:11:06 ET