NHL Game Summary - NY Rangers at Atlanta
(Thursday, October 18th)
Final Score: Atlanta 5, NY Rangers 3
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Todd White and Marian Hossa each had a goal and an assist as the Atlanta Thrashers got their first win of the season and their first win under new head coach Don Waddell with a 5-3 win over the struggling New York Rangers at Philips Arena.
Waddell, who was the general manager of the Thrashers, replaced Bob Hartley, who was fired on Wednesday after the team's 4-0 loss to Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Under Hartley last season, Atlanta set club records with 43 wins and 97 points in winning the Southeast Division for the first time in franchise history. In the playoffs, though, the Thrashers were outscored 17-6 en route to being swept by the sixth-seeded Rangers and lost the first six games of this season, prompting the shake-up behind the bench.
Pascal Dupuis, Slava Kozlov and Bryan Little all lit the lamp for Atlanta, which has won four straight and six of the last seven against the Rangers.
"Forget about the record," said Waddell. "We were 0-0 going into today. We have 76 games left and we are going to try and win as many of those 76 and go out and have some fun."
Kari Lehtonen started the game in net for the Thrashers, but left halfway through the first period with a groin strain. Johan Hedberg finished the game between the pipes and allowed three goals on 27 shots.
Lehtonen is going to have an MRI within the next 24 to 48 hours depending on the swelling and will be reevaluated in the next couple of days. He will be sitting out the team's next game in Tampa Bay on Saturday and it appears he will be out for a further length of time. The pull is lower in the leg.
Brendan Shanahan, Daniel Girardi and Scott Gomez each scored a power-play goal for the Rangers, who have dropped four out of their last five games. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 23 shots in the loss.
"We're playing from behind too often," said Gomez. "That is what is killing us. We will be fine, we're getting the opportunities. We believe in everyone in this room. We have to go at it again, no one is going to feel sorry for us."
The Thrashers played their best period of hockey this season to begin the game.
A little over four minutes in, Atlanta scored the first goal of the game for the first time this season. After Lehtonen made a pair of nice saves, the team got the puck into the Rangers end and Brad Larsen backhanded a centering pass from the low right side to Dupuis, who one-timed the puck past Lundqvist.
A pair of New York penalties led to an extended 5-on-3 for Atlanta and the team took a 2-0 lead as Marian Hossa sent a simple pass from the right side to the left where Kozlov redirected it in at the 6:23 mark.
Lehtonen made a total of nine saves in the first period before he left the ice at the 11:30 mark and was replaced by Hedberg.
Atlanta upped its lead to 3-0 in the second. On a 2-on-0 break, Eric Perrin got the puck behind the defense and from the left slot sent it to White, who one-timed a shot that Lundqvist stopped, but the rebound sat on the goal line and White tapped it in halfway through the second.
Hedberg turned aside all nine Ranger shots in the second period.
The Thrashers took a 4-0 lead less than three minutes into the third as Little shelved a backhander past a prone Lundqvist.
The Rangers finally got on the scoreboard with a power-play goal as Girardi's one-timer from the left circle made it a 4-1 game at the halfway mark of the third. It was Girardi's first career goal in the NHL.
However, the Thrashers got the goal back as Hossa's turnaround shot in the low slot found its way between the pads of Lundqvist with 8:41 to play.
Shanahan's one-timer on the power play with 5:53 to play and Gomez's power- play goal with one minute to play accounted for the final score.
The Rangers next play in Boston on Saturday...The Thrashers play in Tampa Bay of Saturday to begin a season-high seven-game road trip...The assist was the first of the season for Hossa, who led Atlanta with 100 points last season...The Thrashers went 2-for-7 on the power play while the Rangers finished 3-for-9.
10/18 22:50:12 ET