NHL Game Summary - Washington at Atlanta
(Wednesday, February 13th)
Final Score: Atlanta 3, Washington 2 (SO)
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Eric Perrin scored the game-deciding goal in the shootout, as the Atlanta Thrashers defeated the Washington Capitals, 3-2, at Philips Arena.
In the first round of the shootout, Perrin skated in on Olaf Kolzig and curled to the backhand before switching to the forehand and lifting the puck over the fallen netminder. After Alexander Semin was stopped by Kari Lehtonen, Vyacheslav Kozlov swooped in from the right wing and snapped the puck past the right pad of Kolzig. Boyd Gordon had the chance to extend the shootout, but his offering deflected off the glove of Lehtonen, who was able to stop the bouncing puck from crossing the goal line to secure the win.
Marian Hossa posted a goal and an assist for the Thrashers, who wrapped up a four-game homestand with a mark of 2-2-0. Perrin also scored in regulation and Lehtonen made 39 saves.
"I thought the second period was our best period tonight," said Hossa. "I actually don't think we deserve to win tonight. I think Washington was a better team, but Kari played really well for us and saved the game."
With the victory, Atlanta pulls into a three-way tie with Washington and idle Carolina for first place in the Southeast Division.
Alex Ovechkin registered a goal and an assist for the Capitals, who have lost two of three. Viktor Kozlov also scored and Nicklas Backstrom collected two assists, while Kolzig allowed two goals on 28 shots.
"I don't know, it seems like the second period we kind of take off sometimes and then we turn it up in the third," said Washington's Mike Green. "We can't do that. We got to play a 60-minute game."
Ovechkin tallied his league-leading 48th goal of the season with 1:21 remaining in regulation to knot the game at two. Off a feed from Backstrom, Ovechkin fired a wrister through the gap between the glove and torso of Lehtonen to send the game into overtime.
Washington outshot Atlanta 18-3 in the first period, but Lehtonen's phenomenal play between the pipes kept the game scoreless.
The Capitals, off a fortuitous bounce, opened the scoring at the 2:56 mark of the second. Atlanta defenseman Ken Klee blocked Ovechkin's slap shot from the slot, but the puck caromed right to the stick of Kozlov for an easy tap- in.
Atlanta thought it had tied the game at 4:22, but a video review determined Perrin, who was jostling with Jeff Schultz for position in front of Kolzig, directed Vyacheslav Kozlov's shot with his left knee.
Undeterred by the ruling, Perrin used his stick to deposit the puck behind a screened Kolzig with 3:31 remaining in the stanza.
The Thrashers added another marker in the final minute to take a 2-1 lead into the second intermission. After Lehtonen gloved a Milan Jurcina wrist shot, the goaltender dropped the disc and fired a long, lead pass up the middle of the ice to Hossa at the opposing blue line. Hossa moved in on Kolzig, faked a shot and stuffed the puck underneath the netminder with 57 seconds on the clock.
Atlanta improved to 7-4 in shootouts, while the Capitals fell to 2-3...Atlanta has won four of the six matchups with Washington this season...Lehtonen notched his second assist of the season and fourth of his career...Earlier on Wednesday, the Capitals re-signed forward Tomas Fleischmann to a two-year contract...Atlanta opens a five-game road swing Friday at New Jersey...Washington's three-game road trip through the Southeast Division continues in Florida on Friday.
02/13 22:59:17 ET