NHL Game Summary - Atlanta at Boston
(Tuesday, February 3rd)
Final Score: Boston 5, Atlanta 4
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Brian Rolston scored the game-winner with 1:33 left in the third period to give Boston a wild 5-4 win over the Atlanta Thrashers at the FleetCenter.
Rolston camped himself in the slot and scored the winner on the rebound of a shot by Sergei Samsonov. Joe Thornton had a huge night with two goals and an assist in the win, while Patrice Bergeron and Glen Murray each lit the lamp.
Felix Potvin turned aside 26 shots for the Bruins, who have won four straight. Boston is 12-3-2 in its last 17 games.
Pasi Nurminen stopped 24 shots for Atlanta, which has dropped three straight and is 0-5-2 in the past seven games overall. Dany Heatley, Ilya Kovalchuk, Marc Savard and Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre each scored for the Thrashers.
Heatley came into the contest without a point in three games since returning from the injuries suffered in the tragic September auto accident that took the life of teammate Dan Snyder. In the first period he tallied his first goal of the season to give the Thrashers an early 1-0 edge.
"(The goal) felt good but it would've been a lot better with the win," Heatley said. "It's nice to get it out of the way and just go from here...I'm back in the swing of things now and it's just a matter of getting that off my back and trying to get back to where I was last year.
"The support from the hockey world and everyone has been great and it's a big reason I've come back," he added.
The goal came just 1:54 into the game. Slava Kozlov slipped a cross-ice pass to Ivan Majesky, who was streaking down the left side of the ice. Majesky skated with the puck behind the net and instead of attempting a wraparound poked a backhanded pass to a wide open Heatley. Heatley, who was on the right side of the net, stuffed the puck past Potvin.
The Bruins then scored three unanswered goals to open a 3-1 lead in the late stages of the second period.
Boston tied the contest on Bergeron's goal at the 11:25 mark of the first. The goal was a result of Atlanta's carelessness with the puck deep in its own end. Ronald Petrovicky turned the puck over in the slot to Bergeron, who ripped a low shot that beat Nurminen five-hole.
Thornton snapped the tie with his first tally of the game. He simply took the puck from the blue line, skated behind the net into the slot and snapped a shot past Nurminen at 12:19 of the second.
"We needed to play well here at home because we knew we were going away for two weeks," Thornton said. "Early on, I think we were just getting a feel for each other because we haven't played each other in a while. By the end of the first period, both teams were getting some good scoring chances."
Less than two minutes later Murray scored on the rebound of a Thornton blast, tucking home the power-play tally for his 22nd goal to give the Bruins a 3-1 edge.
Atlanta cut the deficit to 3-2 on Kovalchuk's tally with 3:05 left in the second. Petrovicky left a backhanded pass to a trailing Kovalchuk just beyond the blue line. Kovalchuk brought the puck to his forehand and snapped a low shot that hit the right post and wrapped around the back of the net for his 27th goal of the season.
The Thrashers evened the game on Savard's goal 37 seconds into the final period. Kovalchuk ripped a slap shot from the center point, and Potvin did not make a clean save on the shot. Savard followed the play into the slot and took several whacks at the puck to push it through.
Thornton's second of the contest gave the Bruins the lead once again. After a flurry of Thrashers pressed the Bruins zone, Shaone Morrisonn cleared the puck to Thornton, who remained onside. Thornton flashed down to the right faceoff circle and slapped a shot that beat Nurminen high on the glove side at 2:36 of the period.
Atlanta would not go away and tied it in the third as Grand-Pierre's shot took a flukey bounce and beat Potvin five-hole with under 10 minutes left, making it 4-4.
Bergeron's goal was his 15th of the season...The Bruins outshot the Thrashers 14-10 in the second stanza...Murray has 10 goals in last nine games...Thornton registered his first two-goal game of the season...Heatley's point was his first since April 6, 2003 against Tampa Bay.
02/03 23:29:21 ET