NHL Game Summary - Pittsburgh at Atlanta
(Saturday, January 12th)
Final Score: Atlanta 3, Pittsburgh 2 (SO)
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Mark Recchi scored in the fourth round of the shootout to help the Atlanta Thrashers defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins, 3-2, at Philips Arena.
The first three rounds of the shootout were scoreless, but Recchi gave his team the advantage as he deked to the backhand and lifted the puck over Ty Conklin.
Evgeni Malkin was the last chance for Pittsburgh and he had Kari Lehtonen beaten, but his backhand did not get enough height and Lehtonen made a right pad save to preserve the win.
Ilya Kovalchuk and Bobby Holik each scored a goal while Lehtonen made 29 saves in the win for the Thrashers, who snapped a two-game losing streak.
"You couldn't write a better script," said Atlanta coach Don Waddell. "To get in the shootout like that and the goal (Recchi's) scored was a great goal. I thought about putting him in our top three, but our top three have been pretty good all year. So I decided to save him for that fourth shot and he came through."
Sidney Crosby scored both goals while Conklin made 36 saves in the loss for the Penguins, who were riding a season-high eight-game winning streak.
"We're happy to pick up five points (on the three-game road trip) but we could have picked up six," said Pittsburgh coach Michel Therrien. "So that's disappointing about losing one point tonight. In the good picture, five points out of six aren't bad."
Pittsburgh drew first blood in the game as Crosby tapped in a rebound from the left side just 5:23 into the first period.
However, Atlanta tied the game a bit over four minutes later on the power play as Kovalchuk's one-timer from the high slot beat Conklin at the left corner for his league-leading 37th goal.
The Penguins scored the only goal of the second period to grab a 2-1 lead. Crosby skated the puck into the Atlanta end down the right side and from the left circle dished the puck to Kris Letang. From the left circle, Letang threw a pass out front that hit off Colby Armstrong and went right to the stick of Crosby, who lifted it into the net for his 20th goal of the season at the 5:06 mark.
Conklin made 10 saves in the middle stanza to keep Atlanta off the board.
The Thrashers tied the game just 1:40 into the third as Marian Hossa brought the puck from the left boards to the front of the net and Holik jammed the puck under Conklin's pads during the ensuing scrum for a power-play tally.
Atlanta plays in Detroit on Tuesday...Pittsburgh hosts the Rangers on Monday...Pittsburgh's eight-game winning streak was the club's longest since a 10-game streak from January 28-February 15, 1999...Kovalchuk has a nine-game point streak with eight goals and seven assists during the run. Also, he has scored in four straight games...Atlanta went 2-for-3 on the power play while Pittsburgh failed to score on any of its three chances.
01/12 22:47:08 ET