NHL Game Summary - Ottawa at Atlanta
(Friday, March 2nd)
Final Score: Atlanta 4, Ottawa 2
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Eric Belanger tallied twice, and the Atlanta Thrashers used a three-goal third period to defeat the Ottawa Senators, 4-2, at Philips Arena.
Slav Kozlov and Pascal Dupuis also scored, and Marian Hossa had two assists for Atlanta, which has split its last four games but is just 4-7-2 since January. Kari Lehtonen made 21 saves for the Thrashers, who snapped a five- game losing streak on their home ice.
Dany Heatley scored two power-play goals and Wade Redden had a pair of helpers for the Senators, who had their three-game winning streak snapped and lost for the first time in regulation in their last 10 games (8-1-1). Ray Emery had 20 saves for Ottawa, which still owns the NHL's best record since February 7.
With his team trailing by a goal, Belanger scored for the second time in the contest at 3:41 in the third stanza, driving around Andrej Meszaros and wristing a shot top-shelf to tie the game at 2-2.
"I thought the first 15 minutes of the game were pretty good," said Belanger. "We gave them a little bit of life on their power play goal. I think we were awful in the second, just really bad. But we got some big goals and played a really solid third period."
Atlanta went on top 3-2 with 10:56 remaining in the contest. Off a turnover in neutral ice, Hossa went one-on-one with Redden, then took a big hit. Kozlov picked up the puck and wristed it toward the net, where it squeezed between the pads of Emery.
Dupuis's backhand shot doubled the Thrashers' margin to 4-2. The left winger squeezed behind traffic and cut in front of the Ottawa net, lifting the disc past Emery with 4:56 to play.
Ottawa had a power-play opportunity late in the contest, but couldn't overcome its two-goal deficit.
The Thrashers drew first blood on Belanger's goal at 9:40 in the first period. Following an Ottawa turnover in the defensive zone, Belanger corralled the puck and split the defense before rifling a slapshot over Emery's glove into the top right corner of the net to make it 1-0.
Heatley then walked in and slipped a shot through the five hole of Lehtonen to tie the game at 1-1. The team's leading scorer, Heatley came up the left boards, collected the puck just over the blue line and wristed a shot toward the netminder that trickled between his pads with 4:26 left in the first period.
Ottawa took a 2-1 on Heatley's second of the night at 4:37 of the middle stanza. Heatley used a teammate as a screen before rifling a 40-foot slapper over the glove of Lehtonen to notch his league-leading 40th goal of the season.
"I thought we played pretty well through two periods," said Heatley. "I thought we really dominated them in the second. For whatever reason we didn't play really well in the third. We kind of lost the forecheck and gave them a lot of speed through the neutral zone. That's kinda the way we've been playing, just real well in the third period. To lose like that is tough."
Heatley, who is third in the league in points with 84, has totaled nine goals and eight assists in his last 10 games. He has scored eight times in his last six contests and the first-period tally gave him his first career six-game goal streak...Traded to the Senators from the Thrashers before last season, Heatley also has five goals and three assists in nine games against Atlanta...Jason Spezza has compiled seven goals and 11 assists in the last 10 games...Hossa has three goals and seven assists during a six-game point streak. The right wing has three goals and 12 assists in eight meetings with the Senators...Atlanta has won three of four games against Ottawa this season...The attendance was 16,190.
03/02 23:41:42 ET