NHL Game Summary - Atlanta at Los Angeles
(Monday, February 16th)
Final Score: Atlanta 7, Los Angeles 6 (SO)
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Erik Christensen's goal in the fourth round of a shootout lifted Atlanta to a wild 7-6 win over the Los Angeles Kings.
Ilya Kovalchuk continued his strong play, registering two goals and an assist in Atlanta's fourth straight win on the road. Kovalchuk's performance came one night after he had a hat trick and an assist in Atlanta's 8-4 win at Anaheim. He has goals in five straight games with 11 total points over that stretch.
Bryan Little, Todd White and Marty Reasoner each had a goal and an assist, while Colin Stuart also lit the lamp for the Thrashers, who got 39 saves from Johan Hedberg.
"We're lucky we're scoring a lot of goals right now," said Christensen. "We allowed like 10 goals in the last two games and we still got two wins and we'll take them. We have to play with more consistency throughout the game."
Anze Kopitar had two goals and two assists, including the tying tally with five seconds left in regulation, as the Kings rallied from a three-goal deficit in the third period, only to lose all three games on their homestand, the final two by shootout.
"This time of the year you want to get two points, not just one," said Kopitar. "Maybe we're fortunate enough to get one but that's not enough. To give up six goals at home, it's hard and it definitely shouldn't happen."
Alexander Frolov had a goal and three assists, while Denis Gauthier, Jack Johnson and Jarret Stoll also scored in defeat. Jonathan Quick was lifted after giving up three goals on just seven shots in the opening period, but Erik Ersberg made 17 saves in relief.
Kopitar scored on a backhander to start the shootout, but Slava Kozlov tied it in the second round. Each goaltender came up big in the third round before Hedberg turned away Patrick O'Sullivan in the fourth.
Christensen then won the game with a great backhand to forehand move, getting Ersberg to commit early as he fell down in the right side of the crease, leaving the left side open for the winning goal.
Kovalchuk's 29th goal of the season, a wrist shot from the left circle, boosted the Thrashers to a 6-3 lead 3:31 into the final period, but the Kings rallied thanks to a 19-4 shot advantage in the third and goals from Kopitar and Gauthier just 2:35 apart.
Kopitar's first of the night came on the power play on a one-timer, and Gauthier's fluke goal at the 10:05 mark made it 6-5. Gauthier shot the puck from above the left circle, but the disc deflected off the back of Christensen and into the top right portion of the net.
It was Gauthier's first goal in his last 124 games, going back to December 31, 2005.
The Kings nearly tied the game with 2:41 left, but Hedberg dove to stop Kopitar's attempt from the right side of the net. Hedberg stopped an attempt from Dustin Brown with just under two minutes left, and the Kings got a fortunate delay-of-game call with 1:27 left when Ron Hainsey sent the puck over the glass from his own end.
With the power play and the goaltender pulled for a two-man advantage, the Kings knotted the game with five seconds left thanks to a rebound in front from Kopitar off a mad scramble.
Ersberg came up with a save on a close attempt by Hainsey in the closing seconds of overtime.
Little scored just 71 seconds into the game on a backhand shot from the low left side, and it became 2-0 when Kovalchuk lit the lamp at 5:59 during a two- man advantage with a successful one-timer from the slot.
Atlanta netted another power play goal at the 7:41 mark with White collecting the tally from in front. It was his 15th goal of the season, one more than he had all of last year.
Johnson's power-play goal at the 14:56 mark put LA on the board, but just 33 seconds later, Reasoner made it 4-1 off a rebound in front.
Stoll finished the offensive outburst with 2:26 left in the first with his 14th marker of the year, a power-play tally on a shot from the bottom of the right circle after a cross-ice pass from Frolov.
Frolov had the Kings within 4-3 at 5:01 of the second thanks to a fortunate bounce. Kopitar sent the puck from the left circle to the right side, where O'Sullivan directed the disc to the net. It caromed off Frolov's left skate and past the pad of Hedberg.
But the Thrashers moved to a two-goal lead again with 43 seconds left in the second on Stuart's shorthanded tip-in.
Atlanta remained unbeaten (4-0) in shootouts this season, while the Kings fell to 3-7 in the format...Earlier Monday, the Thrashers sent defenseman Mathieu Schneider to the Canadiens for draft picks. Atlanta received a second-round pick in the 2009 draft and a third-round selection in the 2010 draft from the Canadiens. Atlanta also sent a conditional pick in 2009 to Montreal...Zach Bogosian had three assists and Kozlov accounted for two helpers for Atlanta. Kozlov has 801 career points...The Kings were 4-for-8 on the power play, while the Thrashers finished 2-for-3...The Kings are 7-2-2 all-time against Atlanta...LA fell to 12-2-1 this season when Kopitar scores...Atlanta plays the third portion of its four-game road trip at Phoenix Thursday before finishing the trek at San Jose Saturday afternoon...The Kings head to Anaheim for a game on Wednesday. LA will play seven of its next eight on the road.
02/17 02:44:54 ET