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NHL Game Summary - Atlanta at Tampa Bay



(Saturday, November 3rd)

Final Score: Atlanta 6, Tampa Bay 4

Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Ilya Kovalchuk recorded his second straight hat trick as the Atlanta Thrashers scored five unanswered goals in a 6-4 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning at St. Pete Times Forum.

Kovalchuk, who also had an assist, scored three times in Atlanta's 6-4 loss to Ottawa on Thursday and recorded the ninth hat trick of his career.

Marian Hossa had a goal and an assist while Pascal Dupuis and Tobias Enstrom each scored a goal for the Thrashers, who have won three of four.

Ondrej Pavelec made the first start of his career in net and finished with 30 saves for Atlanta, which finished a seven-game road trip with a 4-3 mark.

"We came on this road trip and we got four wins," said Atlanta coach Don Waddell. "After the way we started the season, we're very, very happy with that, and especially finishing off playing a divisional opponent."

Shane O'Brien had two goals while Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis each had three assists for the Lightning, who have dropped their past five games.

Johan Holmqvist made only 16 saves in net for Tampa Bay, which has lost its last two home contests.

"I thought we played a good hockey game," said Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella. "I thought our top guys played good. I can see us getting our identity back, as a club. Eighteen to eight in scoring chances, it's a tough one to eat."

Trailing, 4-1, late in the second period, Atlanta scored the game's last five goals to grab the win.

A little over a minute after Brad Richards' goal with 5:34 left in the second, Eric Perrin slid a pass under the stick of Dan Boyle to a hard- charging Kovalchuk, who flicked a shot past Holmqvist with a defender all over him for a short-handed goal.

Just 61 seconds later, Hossa had the puck on a 2-on-1 and from the right circle blasted a shot that beat Holmqvist on the stick-side to make it a 4-3 game.

Kovalchuk tied the game 7:21 into the third as he took a pass in the neutral zone and from the left circle fired a low shot that went under the left pad of Holmqvist.

With a little over two minutes to play, Bryan Little fired a pass from the left boards through traffic to Dupuis, who redirected it over Holmqvist's glove for a 5-4 Atlanta edge.

Kovalchuk capped the win on an empty-netter with 1:22 remaining for the hat trick.

The Thrashers got the first goal of the game on the power play as Kovalchuk fired a pass from the right circle to the top of the left where Enstrom fired a one-timer through a screen halfway through the first.

However, the Lightning got the next two goals to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

In the Atlanta zone, Vinny Prospal sent a backhand pass from the outside of the left circle to the front where O'Brien redirected it past Pavelec with 8:50 left.

O'Brien got his second goal of the period as his slap shot from the left point hit off the stick of a Thrasher and into the left corner of the net with a little over two minutes remaining in the first.

Tampa scored a pair of power-play goals in the second period to extend its lead to 4-1.

On a broken play, Lecavalier grabbed the loose puck in the slot and dished it to Michel Ouellet, who had the easy tap in from the left side at the 4:50 mark.

Skating 5-on-3, Ouellet sent a pass from the low left circle to the top of the circle where Richards one-timed it with 5:34 left in the second.

Game Notes

Atlanta returns home for the first time since October 18 as the team will face Washington...Tampa Bay plays in Florida on Monday...It was the first short- handed goal that Tampa has allowed this season...It was O'Brien's first multi- goal game of his career...Hossa's assists on Kovalchuk's empty-netter was the 400th helper of his career...Atlanta went 1-of-3 on the power play while Tampa Bay scored on two of its four opportunities.

11/03 23:53:48 ET


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