NHL Game Summary - Atlanta at Florida
(Thursday, March 27th)
Final Score: Atlanta 3, Florida 2
Sunrise, FL (Sports Network) - Bobby Holik scored a pair of goals as the Atlanta Thrashers edged the Florida Panthers, 3-2, at BankAtlantic Center.
Mark Recchi also tallied for the Thrashers, who got 42 saves in a spectacular outing from goaltender Kari Lehtonen. Atlanta snapped a five-game skid, but has already been eliminated from postseason contention.
"That was great," said Lehtonen. "You have to be happy from that kind of thing, that it went our way finally. That's hard for them (the Panthers). That probably cost them the season, but it's good for us. We got two points."
Nathan Horton and Radek Dvorak each scored and Tomas Vokoun turned aside 26 shots for Florida, which opened the night five points out of a playoff spot. With four games left, Florida will be eliminated with one more loss or a point from Philadelphia or Boston.
"Sometimes the puck goes in and sometimes not," said Panthers center Olli Jokinen. "Tonight, it definitely didn't go our way, but you still have to keep working and generate chances. I don't know how many powerplays we had (seven) but we should have found a way to score there."
The game was deadlocked at one heading to the third, but Recchi put the Thrashers in front at 13:47 with his 13th of the campaign. Bryan Little was stationed near the boards on Vokoun's glove side and sent a pass out in front to Recchi, who crashed the net and knocked home the disc through the five- hole.
Holik added an insurance tally with 51 seconds remaining in the contest, but Dvorak answered for the Panthers with 1.9 seconds left, snapping the puck past a diving Lehtonen from the right circle.
Atlanta notched the lone goal of the first period and it came with just 7.2 seconds remaining. The Thrashers got plenty of pressure in the offensive zone, and following Ilya Kovalchuk's shot on goal, Holik was there to sweep home the rebound for the 1-0 lead.
Florida tied it near the midpoint of the second, as Horton split a pair of defenseman, charged in on goal and backhanded the disc past Lehtonen.
Atlanta snapped a three-game road losing streak...Florida had a four-game win streak snapped against the Thrashers...This was Florida's 45th one-goal game this season out of 78. They are 22-15-8...Kovalchuk has seven goals and five assists for 12 points in seven games versus Florida this year.
03/27 23:53:36 ET