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Lehtonen extends shutout steak as Thrashers blank Lightning

Oct 10, 2006 - 2:27 AM TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- Kari Lehtonen continues to shut down opponents for the Atlanta Thrashers.

Lehtonen maintained his impressive shutout streak and Vyacheslav Kozlov scored as the Thrashers posted a 1-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Lehtonen made 34 saves en route to his fifth career shutout. The second overall pick in 2002 has blanked his last two opponents and boasts a shutout string of 142 minutes, 42 seconds. The streak started in the third period of the Thrashers' 3-2 shootout loss to the Lightning in the season opener.

"It's just one of those days when everything seems to go your way and in every other game, I try to do everything the same way," Lehtonen said. "Sometimes the post helps me and sometimes I am able to make the good saves. It's not going to last forever. I just have to get focused for the next game."

"Kari was solid. He was the same he has been the first two games," Atlanta coach Bob Hartley said. "He's a great goalie. I thought he made the saves and we gave him a great game. We gave him good support."

After Lightning defenseman Paul Ranger turned over the puck, Kozlov capitalized by burying a wrist shot with 7:34 remaining in the first period for his second goal of the season.

Tampa Bay dominated the action for most of the contest, holding a 34-19 edge in shots, but it was unable to cash in.

"I've got to look at the other side of it," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "If we continue to hold teams' chances to the minimum as we have the past three games, do some of the other things I think we're doing very well, you have to believe your scoring is going to come."

In the first meeting between the two teams, Tampa Bay held Atlanta to 11 shots to tie a franchise record for fewest allowed in a game. However, the Lightning continue to struggle offensively in the young season.

"You've (got to) score. You don't win if you don't score," Tortorella said. "And I look at some guys and you can see the plays are there, probably a dozen times tonight and we hit a stick. I've never seen a team in a 60-minute game have so many shots and passes deflected by sticks and skates."

Marc Denis made 18 saves for Tampa Bay.

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