for this game

Kovalchuk's first goal of season wins it for Atlanta in OT

Oct 15, 2006 - 2:46 AM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Ilya Kovalchuk probably was wondering when he would score his first goal of the season. A matchup with the Washington Capitals provided him the answer.

Kovalchuk capped a three-point night with a goal 3:02 into overtime to give the Atlanta Thrashers a 3-2 victory over the Capitals.

Kovalchuk had a career-high 52 goals last season but had not scored in his first five games this year. However, he continued to have success against Washington in his career as he now has 13 goals with 14 assists in 23 lifetime games vs. the Capitals.

"I had three or four very good chances but I didn't score in regular time," Kovalchuk said. "I don't know if it's bad luck or something."

"Kolvie followed the program until the last shot," Thrashers coach Bob Hartley said. "Kolvie's going to sleep like a baby tonight."

Washington also was done in by going 1-for-9 on the power play.

"I think we just need to realize we can't really play 1-on-1 hockey on the power play," Capitals defenseman Brian Pothier said. "We need to get shots through and get rebounds. We need to be a collective five-man unit out there instead of just one or two guys just trying to do all the magic."

Captain Scott Mellanby gave Atlanta a 3-2 advantage two minutes into the third period but Danius Zubrus tied it at 3-3 with just over five minutes left in the session.

Marian Hossa and Jon Sim also tallied for the Thrashers and goaltender Kari Lehtonen stopped 35 shots, including three in overtime.

"(Lehtonen) played very well," Capitals coach Glen Hanlon said. "He's played very well this year. We had some opportunities to score even on the 4-on-4. We just didn't capitalize."

Defenseman Jamie Heward and captain Chris Clark scored goals and Olaf Kolzig made 27 saves for the Capitals, who have lost three of their first four games.

"It's pretty disappointing," Washington's Brian Sutherby said. "A team coming in, having played last night in what was a tough game for them. We really wanted to come out and take it to them. You could almost tell in the first period they were a little tired, but we took a couple penalties and let them stay in the game. Like I said, it was disappointing."

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