NHL Game Summary - Washington at Atlanta
(Monday, March 12th)
Final Score: Atlanta 4, Washington 2
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Kari Lehtonen stopped 31 shots, and Bobby Holik scored a highlight-reel goal to lead the streaking Atlanta Thrashers to a 4-2 win over the Washington Capitals.
Eric Boulton had two assists for the Thrashers, who have won five out of six, and moved two points ahead of Tampa Bay for first place in the Southeast Division, with 84 points. Atlanta is in search of it's first playoff appearance in franchise history.
Alexander Ovechkin scored both Washington goals but couldn't prevent the eighth straight defeat for the Caps. Brent Johnson let in three goals on 15 shots, and left after straining himself while trying in vain to stop Keith Tkachuk's goal late in the second period. Frederic Cassivi came on in relief, allowing one score on six shots in the third period.
Slava Kozlov's 300th career goal posted the Thrashers to a 1-0 lead at the 11:26 mark of the first period.
"It's a great feeling to score 300," said Kozlov.
Holik's goal late in the first period was a case of incredible concentration. Fallen to his stomach and sliding towards the crease, he still managed to bat the pass from Boulton past Johnson to make it 2-0 Atlanta with 3:09 left in the first.
Ovechkin's first score, at 5:27 of the second period, cut the Thrashers lead in half, making it 2-1.
Tkachuk's tally at 14:30 of the second period restored the two-goal lead for Atlanta. Johnson, who went to a split to try to stop the shot, appeared to injure himself on the play. He stayed on for the rest of the period, but did not return in the third period.
An Ovechkin shot deflected off a Thrashers skate and into the net to give the Caps new life, down only 3-2 just 1:26 into the final period
Kovalchuk ripped a wrister from the right circle through the five-hole, though, putting Atlanta up 4-2 at the 9:35 mark, and the Thrashers held on for the win.
"I didn't think we could play any better, we made two or three key mistakes at key moments and they put it in the back of the net," said Capitals head coach Glen Hanlon.
Hanlon said after the game that Johnson suffered a lower body injury, and would be evaluated Tuesday...Hossa's assist in the first period extended his 18-game point streak...Kozlov's 300th goal was also his 700th career point...Tampa Bay, which was idle Monday night, will get a chance to catch up with the Caps when they visit Toronto on Tuesday. Atlanta is off until Thursday night at Philadelphia.
03/12 23:18:37 ET