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Kozlov, Metropolit lead Thrashers over Maple Leafs

Dec 6, 2006 - 3:14 AM
TORONTO (Ticker) -- A few minutes of intense productivity by Vyacheslav Kozlov and Greg Metropolit enabled the Atlanta Thrashers to erase two disappointing periods.

Kozlov scored twice and Metropolit added a goal and two assists in the third period as the Thrashers rallied from a two-goal deficit for a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have lost five in a row.

Atlanta tied a franchise record with its fifth consecutive victory by defeating Toronto for the second time in six days. The Maple Leafs had won the previous eight encounters over the Thrashers.

"That was a good test for us," Kozlov said. "(Toronto) played very well the first two periods. Their goalie played unbelievable. ... It's a huge win for us. If we want to be in the top of the league, we need to keep rolling."

Trailing, 2-0, Atlanta began its comeback at 3:56 of the third period after Toronto defenseman Ian White was penalized for delay of game. Metropolit tipped in defenseman Greg de Vries' shot from the left faceoff circle to beat goaltender Andrew Raycroft.

"I'm feeling great out there," Metropolit said. "I've got confidence and I'm starting to earn the confidence in my coach. It doesn't matter what line I'm playing on as long as I can contribute, be defensively sound and help us win."

"Metro was the difference in tonight's game," Atlanta coach Bob Hartley said. "The third period was the turning point. Metro skated very well. It's nice to see. He (has) been working hard and tonight, we gave him a chance and he took advantage of it."

Nearly 3 1/2 minutes later, Metropolit made a cross-ice feed to Kozlov, who put his 10th goal of the season past Raycroft's right pad to tie the game.

The duo again hooked up with 8:33 to play as Metropolit set up Kozlov, who netted his second tally of the game by beating Raycroft to the glove side.

"I think the power-play goal which Glen scored in the third period gave us a life," Kozlov said. "We started forechecking more and that was a big comeback for us. Glen set me up for both of my goals and he really battled hard tonight."

"We knew that with all the penalties (Toronto) took in the second period, all the defensemen played some tough minutes for the Leafs," Hartley said. "We felt that by putting pressure on those guys that we could maybe get a break or two. Once we got one on Raycroft, we felt like we could get him on his heels and keep going."

Marian Hossa scored his 21st goal, Ilya Kovalchuk added an empty-net tally and Johan Hedberg made 17 saves to raise his record to 5-2-0 for Atlanta.

"I just tried to stay focused and stay sharp," Hedberg said. "We were playing great and we deserved four or five goals after the first two periods, but that didn't happen. Sometimes, teams give up, but we didn't. I'm very proud of the way we worked today."

Darcy Tucker and Michael Peca netted goals and Raycroft stopped 32 shots for the Maple Leafs, who lost for the first time in 15 regulation games this season when leading after two periods.

"It's disappointing," Tucker said. "We just took too many penalties. We're not happy with with where we're at right now."

"There's not a lot of confidence in the room right now," Maple Leafs coach Paul Maurice added.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0 5 5
    TORONTO 2 0 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TOR - (PP) DARCY TUCKER 17 (JEFF O'NEILL, KYLE WELLWOOD)
    8:41
    TOR - MICHAEL PECA 4 (ALEX STEEN, CHAD KILGER) 19:44
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: ATL - (PP) GLEN METROPOLIT 6 (GREG DE VRIES, ILYA KOVALCHUK)
    3:56
    ATL - VYACHE

    Dec 5 10:03 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 5
    TORONTO 2
    3RD PRD: ATL - (EN) ILYA KOVALCHUK 18 (JEAN-PIERRE VIGIER, NICLAS
    HAVELID) 19:03

    Thrashers vs. Maple LeafsDec 5 10:02 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 4
    TORONTO 2
    3RD PRD: ATL - (PP) MARIAN HOSSA 21 (GREG DE VRIES, VYACHESLAV KOZLOV)
    14:21

    Thrashers vs. Maple LeafsDec 5 9:52 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 3
    TORONTO 2
    3RD PRD: ATL - VYACHESLAV KOZLOV 11 (GLEN METROPOLIT, MARIAN HOSSA)
    11:27

    Thrashers vs. Maple LeafsDec 5 9:48 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 2
    TORONTO 2
    3RD PRD: ATL - VYACHESLAV KOZLOV 10 (GLEN METROPOLIT) 7:14

    Thrashers vs. Maple LeafsDec 5 9:38 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    TORONTO 2
    3RD PRD: ATL - (PP) GLEN METROPOLIT 6 (GREG DE VRIES, ILYA KOVALCHUK)
    3:56

    Thrashers vs. Maple LeafsDec 5 9:33 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0 0
    TORONTO 2 0 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TOR - (PP) DARCY TUCKER 17 (JEFF O'NEILL, KYLE WELLWOOD)
    8:41
    TOR - MICHAEL PECA 4 (ALEX STEEN, CHAD KILGER) 19:44
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATL 12

    Dec 5 9:09 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0
    TORONTO 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TOR - (PP) DARCY TUCKER 17 (JEFF O'NEILL, KYLE WELLWOOD)
    8:41
    TOR - MICHAEL PECA 4 (ALEX STEEN, CHAD KILGER) 19:44
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATL 12 1

    Dec 5 8:17 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 0
    TORONTO 2
    1ST PRD: TOR - MICHAEL PECA 4 (ALEX STEEN, CHAD KILGER) 19:44

    Thrashers vs. Maple LeafsDec 5 8:16 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 0
    TORONTO 1
    1ST PRD: TOR - (PP) DARCY TUCKER 17 (JEFF O'NEILL, KYLE WELLWOOD) 8:41

    Thrashers vs. Maple LeafsDec 5 7:52 PM