NHL Game Summary - Atlanta at NY Islanders
(Tuesday, December 23rd)
Final Score: Atlanta 4, NY Islanders 2
Uniondale, NY (Sports Network) - Bryan Little scored twice, including the go- ahead power-play tally in the third period, as the Atlanta Thrashers beat New York, 4-2, sending the Islanders to their 10th consecutive defeat.
Mathieu Schneider and Colby Armstrong also scored for Atlanta, while Ilya Kovalchuk had two assists on a milestone night. Kovalchuk, playing in his 500th game, recorded points 500 and 501 in his career.
Johan Hedberg made 23 saves for the Thrashers, who have won two of their last three games overall and beat the Islanders for the third time in as many tries this season.
Andy Hilbert and Sean Bergenheim had the goals for the Islanders, who fell to 0-9-1 in their last 10 contests. New York is in the midst of its longest losing streak since dropping 10 straight from December 22, 1997 through January 10, 1998. Joey MacDonald made 23 saves for New York, which last won November 29 at home against Ottawa.
Little gave the Thrashers a 3-2 edge at 7:42 of the third as Atlanta took advantage of a Mike Comrie slashing penalty. Kovalchuk blasted the puck from above the left circle and Little was at the left side of the net for the successful rebound, also marking Kovalchuk's milestone 500th point.
The Isles couldn't take advantage of a power play later in the period following Eric Boulton's hooking penalty at 10:35, and Hedberg came up with a pair of saves on shots from Freddy Meyer in the final 1 1/2 minutes.
Armstrong then added an empty-net goal for the final margin.
Schneider, who played for the Islanders from 1994-96, gave the Thrashers the first-period lead. Boris Valabik fed a cross-ice pass to Schneider, who blasted a successful one-timer from above the right circle high and past MacDonald at the 8:54 mark.
Hedberg stopped all 10 shots he faced in the opening period, and the Thrashers gained a two-goal lead at 6:38 of the middle period. Ron Hainsey took a shot from the left point. Slava Kozlov and Todd White both couldn't capitalize on chances in front, but Little mopped up and scored from the left side of the net.
Kovalchuk hit the crossbar on a sharp angle midway through the second and then the Isles broke a long goal drought on Hilbert's eighth of the year with just 3:12 remaining in the stanza. Trent Hunter's shot from the right side squeezed by Hedberg and through the crease, but Hilbert was on the other side for the easy tap-in.
The Islanders, who were blanked 1-0 at Nashville on Saturday, posted a goal for the first time since the 16:32 mark of the second period of a 4-1 loss at Minnesota last Friday.
New York squared the contest 23 seconds into the third on Bergenheim's short- handed tally. Mark Streit was in the penalty box for high-sticking in the final minute of the second. Bergenheim outmuscled White for the disc in the left circle, spun and fired the puck into the net.
The Isles' last 11-game skid came from March 16-April 5, 1996. The team record skid is 12, established during the inaugural 1972-73 season and equaled during the 1988-89 campaign...The Islanders host Toronto on Friday, while Atlanta's next game is also Friday, at home against Carolina...Kozlov had two assists and has 27 points (13g, 14a) in his last 27 contests...The Islanders are 7-17-3 against the Eastern Conference this season, including a 1-6-1 record versus the Southeast Division. In 2007-08, the Islanders finished 10-7-3 against Southeast opponents...Kovalchuk has 12 points (3g, 9a) in his last nine contests...White has a seven-game point streak.
12/23 21:53:25 ET