NHL Game Summary - Boston at Atlanta
(Saturday, December 29th)
Final Score: Atlanta 5, Boston 0
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Kari Lehtonen made 26 saves for his second shutout of the season as the Atlanta Thrashers pounded the Boston Bruins, 5-0, in the front end of a home-and-home set at Philips Arena.
Ilya Kovalchuk, Pascal Dupuis, Bobby Holik and Alexei Zhitnik each posted a goal and an assist for the Thrashers, who snapped a two-game skid.
"Tonight we played the game that we did the other night," said Lehtonen. "It's a couple of breaks here and there. It was fun to see it go this way. The guys played great in front of me."
Alex Auld started the game in net, but was pulled after the first period as he gave up three goals on 13 shots for the Bruins, who are on a season-high six-game losing streak. Tim Thomas finished the game between the pipes and gave up two goals on 16 shots.
"It's tough to see because we are injured," said Boston center Marc Savard. "It wears on a hockey club. We just need a win to get us going."
These teams will meet in Boston on New Year's Eve.
It was all Atlanta in the first period as the team put three pucks in the net to take a 3-0 lead.
The Thrashers got their first goal of the period at the 7:50 mark. Eric Perrin picked off a clearing attempt and dished the puck to the low left side where Slava Kozlov one-timed it past Auld.
The second goal came off of a mistake by Auld. The goaltender skated to the right boards in an attempt to grab a dump-in. He fell to the ice and the puck squirted down low to Holik, who flicked the disc out front and it hit off a Bruin and went into the net before Auld was able to get back into position at 9:22.
With just 3:15 left in the first, Colin Stuart sent the puck from the right boards to Dupuis, who received the pass behind the net and came out front to stuff it in for his sixth goal of the season.
Lehtonen made 12 saves in the period to keep Boston off the board.
Atlanta kept up the pressure in the second period and scored twice more to up its lead to 5-0.
On the power play, Kovalchuk accepted a pass at the left point and blasted a one-timer past Thomas at the 11:05 mark.
Less than three minutes later, Zhitnik skated into the Boston end down the left side and from the circle blasted a slap shot that beat Thomas over the right shoulder for his first goal of the season.
Atlanta kept Boston from getting any pressure on Lehtonen, who only needed to make eight saves in the final 20 minutes to complete the shutout.
Lehtonen has nine career shutouts...Atlanta has won seven of its last eight games against Boston...Kovalchuk leads the league with 32 goals...Stuart played in his first NHL game...It was the largest margin of victory for Atlanta this season.
12/29 21:59:24 ET