NHL Game Summary - Tampa Bay at Atlanta
(Friday, December 26th)
Final Score: Atlanta 3, Tampa Bay 1
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Pasi Nurminen made 34 saves to lead Atlanta over Tampa Bay, 3-1, in a Southeast Division battle at Philips Arena.
Randy Robitaille, J.P. Vigier and Shawn McEachern lit the lamp for the first- place Thrashers, who earned their third straight win. With 42 points, the Thrashers hold a lead of eight over the second-place Lightning, but have played five more games than Tampa Bay.
The Thrashers have now defeated Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay on the heels of a three-game losing streak which saw them get shut out in every game.
Brad Lukowich scored the sole goal for the Lightning, who fell to 1-6-1 in their last eight.
Robitaille opened up the scoring for the Thrashers just 2:27 into the game on a slap shot from the slot, his fourth tally of the season.
At 13:45 of the first, Atlanta extended its lead to 2-0 when Vigier tapped in his ninth of the campaign.
Tampa Bay outshot Atlanta, 10-5, in a scoreless second period.
Lukowich got the Lightning on the board at 13:21 of the third with a slap shot from behind the left circle.
McEachern capped off the scoring with an empty-netter with only eight seconds left.
Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 21 shots for Tampa Bay.
Atlanta, which has won five of its last seven home games, will visit Ottawa on Saturday...The Lightning have won just three of their last 16 games (3-10-3)...The Lightning, 3-6-2 in their last 11 road contests, will open a five-game homestand Saturday against Boston...The home team is 9-1-3 in the last 13 meetings between the two teams...Before the game, Atlanta Thrashers all-star forward Dany Heatley spoke publicly for the first time since his September car crash that killed teammate Dan Snyder. Heatley, who suffered numerous injuries including torn knee ligaments and a broken jaw in the wreck, fought back tears several times as he spoke about the loss of his friend at the arena just three hours before the game.
12/26 22:24:46 ET