NHL Game Summary - Atlanta at Montreal
(Tuesday, February 17th)
Final Score: Atlanta 4, Montreal 1
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Ilya Kovalchuk tallied a goal and an assist to lead Atlanta over Montreal, 4-1, at the Bell Centre.
Frantisek Kaberle, Patrik Stefan and Dany Heatley also lit the lamp for the Thrashers, who won for just the second time in 13 games (2-9-2).
"We had a bad time over the last month because we didn't play well," Kovalchuk said. "But we beat Vancouver and we won tonight so we'll be back on track."
Jan Bulis scored the sole goal for the Canadiens, who dropped their fourth straight game.
"We looked like a team that just started the season," Canadiens coach Claude Julien said.
Bulis opened the scoring 6:47 into the game with a slap shot from the slot for Montreal, but the Thrashers countered with four unanswered goals to put the game away.
On the power play, Kovalchuk tied the contest at 1-1 with a wrist shot from the left circle at 8:55 of the first period.
"It's nothing surprising to us because that's the kind of plays that he's been giving us since the start of the year," Thrashers coach Bob Hartley said of Kovalchuk. "He is like an offensive machine for us. "
Just 3:06 into the second stanza, Kaberle posted his third goal of the year to put Atlanta ahead, 2-1. Kovalchuk skated the puck down the left boards and fed a centering pass to Kaberle, who backhanded it in from the top of the crease.
The Thrashers extended their advantage to 3-1 heading into the final period when they received a fortunate goal at 12:30 of the second. While shorthanded, Jose Theodore went behind the net to clear the puck and instead sent it out to the slot where Stefan wristed his eighth goal of the season into an empty net.
Heatley was the only player to find the back of the net in the third as he posted his third of the campaign with a backhander from the bottom of the left circle.
Pasi Nurminen made 29 saves for the Thrashers, while Theodore stopped 21 shots for the Canadiens.
Montreal failed to score with four chances on the power play, all coming in the first period.
On the other hand, the Thrashers were 2-of-5 on the man advantage.
Montreal will host Calgary on Thursday...Atlanta is 2-3 during its current seven-game road trip, which continues in Ottawa on Thursday and ends in Philadelphia this Saturday...Montreal is still 3-1 against Atlanta this season.
02/18 00:28:04 ET