NHL Game Summary - Buffalo at Atlanta
(Saturday, October 18th)
Final Score: Atlanta 3, Buffalo 2 (SO)
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Slava Kozlov scored the eventual game-winner in the shootout, as the Atlanta Thrashers edged the Buffalo Sabres, 3-2, at Philips Arena.
Ilya Kovalchuk also lit the lamp for Atlanta, which saw its three-game slide come to an end. Bryan Little tallied in the win, while Todd White had a pair of assists. Kari Lehtonen stopped 28-of-30 shots in regulation to take the win.
Jason Pominville had a goal and an assist for the Sabres, who suffered their first loss of the season. Thomas Vanek had a goal in defeat and Patrick Lalime let in two goals on 37 shots to suffer the loss.
Erik Christensen for Atlanta and Ales Kotalik for Buffalo were both stoned on the first two shots of the final round.
Kovalchuk then skated in, made it look like he was going left and snapped the puck just above Lalime's glove on the right side for Atlanta's first shootout score.
Drew Stafford then skated in and wristed a goal via the five hole on Lehtonen to even things up.
Kozlov gave the Thrashers a lead as he skated to the right boards, moved towards center ice and beat Lalime top shelf on the right side of the net with a snap shot.
Vanek, though, was unable to convert on the final chance as his bid went wide of the net, giving the Thrashers the victory.
"We expected Atlanta to come out hard," said Lalime. "I like how we came back in the second and third. It would have been nice to get the extra point."
Kovalchuk put Atlanta on top just 1:35 into the game. White gave him a lead pass and Kovalchuk got loose for a breakaway just inside the right circle. His wrister beat Lalime and the Thrashers were up 1-0.
Little made it a 2-0 affair as his snap shot found the back of the goal at the 17:12 mark of the first. White was credited with the assist on the goal.
Atlanta outshot Buffalo 19-6 in the first period.
Buffalo got on the board with three minutes left in the middle frame. During a 5-on-3, Vanek let loose a 10-foot wrister from inside the right circle that hit the twine.
Pominville tied the game, 2-2, with 3:08 left in regulation. He gained control around the blue line, skated in and unleashed a shot on net. Lehtonen made a glove save but let the rebound elude him and trickle out. Pominville followed the rebound to the left side of the net and wristed the puck home.
"I was disappointed for giving up the tying goal, but just before overtime there was time to regroup," said Lehtonen. "Then I was excited to get two points."
A scoreless overtime saw Atlanta record three shots while Buffalo was credited with a pair.
Buffalo was 1-for-6 on the power play, while Atlanta was 0-for-6...The Thrashers have won seven of the last 11 meetings with the Sabres...Buffalo has been defeated in four straight and five of their previous six tests in Atlanta.
10/18 22:58:15 ET