NHL Game Summary - Toronto at Atlanta
(Thursday, March 29th)
Final Score: Atlanta 3, Toronto 2 (OT)
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Slava Kozlov scored his second goal of the game with just 46.3 seconds left in overtime to give the Atlanta Thrashers a big two points with a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Philips Arena.
Toronto's Nik Antropov was called for hooking with 1:46 to play to give Atlanta a 4-on-3 opportunity. Atlanta worked the puck along the points and got it to Marian Hossa at the right circle. Hossa let fly with a slap shot that hit off of Hal Gill and went to the left side where Kozlov backhanded it by Andrew Raycroft for the win.
Hossa had a goal and an assist and Johan Hedberg made 27 saves for the Thrashers, who stopped a three-game slide.
The win gives Atlanta 91 points, a new franchise record and five points ahead of Tampa Bay for first place in the Southeast Division and third place in the Eastern Conference.
"Right now, with this many games left, we picked up one point last night and two points today, that was huge," said Kozlov. "We cannot give any gifts to anybody. It was a great game and a big win for us."
Gill and John Pohl each had a goal and Raycroft finished the game with 24 saves for the Maple Leafs, who had won three of four coming into the game.
Toronto has 85 points and trails Montreal by one point for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with five games to play.
"We don't want to get ourselves down a man in OT against that team," said Toronto coach Paul Maurice. "We've seen that an awful lot with Atlanta. We fought back when we had to, we just couldn't convert on those real good cycles we had in the offensive zone."
The Thrashers drew first blood in the contest when, on the power play, Keith Tkachuk made a no-look, behind the back pass from the low left side to the front of the net where Hossa tapped it in for his 42nd goal of the season just 3:24 into the contest.
Toronto, though, tied the game with just 2:27 left in the first period as Pohl's wrist shot from the top of the left circle beat Hedberg between the pads.
Atlanta took a 2-1 lead in the third when Andy Sutton blasted a shot from the left point that Kozlov tipped over the glove of Raycroft.
The Maple Leafs, however, tied the game again when an Atlanta defender crashed into Hedberg and Gill's slap shot went into the open net at the 6:40 mark.
The Thrashers travel to Boston for a game on Saturday...Toronto returns home to face Pittsburgh on Saturday...Atlanta went 2-for-4 on the power play while Toronto failed to score on any of its three chances...Atlanta has won three straight against Toronto after losing eight straight...Hossa has 96 points on the season, a new career-high...Kozlov has 77 points, a new career-high.
03/29 23:46:29 ET