3 - 4 Final - OT
  for this game

Hossa, Kozlov lead Thrashers past Capitals

Oct 20, 2006 - 2:21 AM ATLANTA (Ticker) -- With time running out for the Atlanta Thashers, Marian Hossa came to the rescue twice.

Hossa scored two goals in regulation and added the shootout clincher and Ilya Kovalchuk collected a pair of assists to lead the Thrashers to a 4-3 triumph over the Washington Capitals.

After failing to hold a two-goal lead, the Thrashers rallied to defeat the Capitals for the second time in five days and raise their record to 5-1-1.

"It's always great when you find a way to win," Hossa said. "We didn't have a great second period, but we found a way to win and that's big. ... We never quit and that's the thing about this team. We showed character to get a big two points."

Vyacheslav Kozlov opened the shootout for Atlanta with a goal over netminder Brent Johnson's right pad from a sharp angle. After Alexander Semin missed for Washington, Hossa fired the puck between Johnson's pads.

"Basically, I just took my time," Hossa said. "I went kind of slow and I faked the shot between the hash marks. He opened the five-hole again and I just tried to quickly release it."

Thrashers goaltender Kari Lehtonen made a blocker save on superstar Alexander Ovechkin to seal the win.

"I think he lost the puck a little bit," Kehtonen said. "I guess I made the sleeping bear angry because I yelled pretty hard after that. I was so happy and he looked at me and wasn't too happy."

Atlanta pulled Lehtonen for an extra skater in the final minute of regulation, enabling Hossa to score his second goal of the game and seventh of the season by knocking a rebound of Kovalchuk's shot over Johnson's left pad with 32 seconds left.

Hossa also opened the scoring by redirecting Kovalchuk's shot from the left point just under the crossbar for a power-play tally at 5:02 of the first period.

"They've got a good hockey club with Hossa and Kovalchuk," Washington coach Glen Hanlon said. "They're also getting the saves they didn't get last year. We know what to do to win. We did some good things. We scored a power-play goal, which has seemed like an eternity (since we did)."

Kozlov added his third of the season at 1:04 of the second session to give the Thrashers a 2-0 advantage.

After Dainius Zubrus scored Washington's first goal at 3:39 of the second period, Semin and Ovechkin, the reigning Calder Trophy winner, recorded tallies in a 57-second span to give the Capitals a 3-2 lead.

"First period, I thought we played real well," Thrashers coach Bob Hartley said. "Second period, we got into penalty problems. We were not very sharp with our puck movements and it cost us three goals. Then in the third, we did so many good things and it was good that we got rewarded."

Semin collected 10 goals and 12 assists in his rookie season in 2003-04 before he was suspended by the Capitals on September 28, 2004 for failing to report to Portland of the American Hockey League.

After playing in Russia for the past two seasons, Semin is making the most of his second chance with Washington. The 22-year-old left wing leads the team with seven goals and nine points and has recorded a point in all six games.

Lehtonen made 27 saves for his fifth victory in seven games for the Thrashers.

"What I really like about Kari is he's basically in his first full year as an NHL goalie," Hartley said. "I don't even want to count last year, and you look at the poise he is showing. He looked like a wall (in the shootout). They probably could have shot all night and they wouldn't have scored."

Johnson stopped 40 shots for Washington, which fell to 2-1-3 on the season.

"Right now, it feels like a loss," Zubrus said. "With 30 seconds to go, them tying up the game and then getting the two points. Right now, it is a loss for us. At the same time, we played pretty good, but sometimes it's not enough."

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!