for this game

Kozlov, Boulton help extend Capitals' slide

Mar 13, 2007 - 3:54 AM
ATLANTA (Ticker) -- The Atlanta Thrashers have a number of playmakers on their roster. The Washington Capitals never knew Eric Boulton was one of them.

Boulton recorded his first career multi-point game with a pair of assists and Vyacheslav Kozlov scored his 300th goal as the Thrashers posted a 4-2 victory over the hapless Capitals, who have lost eight in a row.

With the win, Atlanta (37-24-10) moved two points ahead of idle Tampa Bay (39-27-4) for first place in the Southeast Division.

Known more for his fighting than his scoring, as evidenced by his 624 penalty minutes and 31 points in 257 career games entering Monday, Boulton set up a highlight-reel goal by Bobby Holik late in the first period and fed Keith Tkachuk for his fourth tally in as many contests in the middle session, giving Atlanta a 3-1 advantage.

"I'm not 100 percent sure, you guys have to look it up," Boulton said of his first multi-point game. "I guess I was lucky being in the right place at the right time."

"With Boults, I know I'm getting a great forechecker," Atlanta coach Bob Hartley said. "I know that he's playing the book, he's not playing flashy, but he's very effective for us. With two assists tonight while playing hard, he's very solid in our own zone and I'm definitely very happy for him."

Kozlov opened the scoring for the Thrashers with 8 1/2 minutes to go in the first period, grabbing a loose puck at the top of the slot and beating goaltender Brent Johnson high to the glove side with a wrist shot. The tally also was the Russian's 700th career point.

"It's a great feeling when you win the game and score your 300th goal in front of your home fans," the 34-year-old Kozlov said. "I'm too old to bother worrying about records. I never pay attention to 200 or 300."

Ilya Kovalchuk scored his 37th goal and Kari Lehtonen made 31 saves for Atlanta, which extended its season-high home winning streak to five games and improved to 5-0-2 against Washington this campaign.

"It's great for our confidence," Boulton said of the Thrashers' success at home. "Come playoff time, to get home-ice advantage is huge and for us to gaine confidence here is great, game in and game out. It's a great atmosphere here."

"I was able to play four lines, the six defensemen did a great job and Kari was solid," Hartley said. "It was one of those wins where, slowly but surely, we're building home-ice advantage, and it's such a key."

Alex Ovechkin netted both goals for the Capitals, who have dropped 13 of 14. The 21-year-old Russian's first tally was his 40th, making him the ninth player in NHL history to reach the plateau in each of his first two seasons.

"I tried to do my best," Ovechkin said. "I play for the team and I'm a scorer. Fifty goals would be good."

It was the seventh multi-goal game of the campaign for Ovechkin and second against the Thrashers. The superstar recorded his only hat trick of the season vs. Atlanta on December 15.

After having their five-game winning streak snapped by the Florida Panthers on Saturday, the Thrashers jumped to a 2-0 lead in this one. Kozlov netted his 23rd of the season at 11:26 of the first period and Holik scored a magnificent goal less than six minutes later to double the advantage.

Boulton pounced on a turnover in the neutral zone and carried down the left wing before passing to the slot. Laying on his stomach after being tripped, Holik whacked the puck past Johnson with 3:09 left in the session for his 11th of the season.

"He fell at the right time," Boulton said. "It was fun to watch. ... When you get a turnover like that, it's nice to make them pay."

"That's what Holik does," Lehtonen added. "He always goes hard to the net. He was able to put it in. It was very pretty."

Ovechkin halved the deficit at 5:27 of the second, walking to the net from the left wing boards and beating Lehtonen, but Tkachuk converted a cross-slot pass by Boulton with a shot from the right faceoff dot with 5 1/2 minutes to go in the session, restoring Atlanta's two-goal bulge.

Washington drew within 3-2 on Ovechkin's power-play tally 86 seconds into the third. However, Kovalchuk fired a wrister from the right circle between netminder Frederic Cassivi's pads at 9:35 to give Atlanta breathing room.

Cassivi played the third period in place of Johnson, who allowed three goals on 15 shots before suffering an undisclosed injury.

"Something like a hamstring or a groin, I am guessing," Washington coach Glen Hanlon said. "We will evaluate him (Tuesday). I know that (Olaf) Kolzig is ready to go, so the timing is not so bad."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 1 1 2
    ATLANTA 2 1 1 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - VYACHESLAV KOZLOV 23 (MARIAN HOSSA) 11:26
    ATL - BOBBY HOLIK 11 (ERIC BOULTON) 16:51
    2ND PRD: WAS - ALEXANDER OVECHKIN 40 (JIRI NOVOTNY) 5:27
    ATL - KEITH TKACHUK 24 (ERIC BOULTON) 14:30
    3RD PRD: WAS - (PP) ALEXAN

    Mar 12 9:31 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 2
    ATLANTA 4
    3RD PRD: ATL - ILYA KOVALCHUK 37 (JON SIM) 9:35

    Capitals vs. ThrashersMar 12 9:12 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 2
    ATLANTA 3
    3RD PRD: WAS - (PP) ALEXANDER OVECHKIN 41 (BEN CLYMER, ALEXANDER
    SEMIN) 1:26

    Capitals vs. ThrashersMar 12 8:58 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 1 1
    ATLANTA 2 1 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - VYACHESLAV KOZLOV 23 (MARIAN HOSSA) 11:26
    ATL - BOBBY HOLIK 11 (ERIC BOULTON) 16:51
    2ND PRD: WAS - ALEXANDER OVECHKIN 40 (JIRI NOVOTNY) 5:27
    ATL - KEITH TKACHUK 24 (ERIC BOULTON) 14:30
    SHOTS ON GOAL

    Mar 12 8:38 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 1
    ATLANTA 3
    2ND PRD: ATL - KEITH TKACHUK 24 (ERIC BOULTON) 14:30

    Capitals vs. ThrashersMar 12 8:29 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 1
    ATLANTA 2
    2ND PRD: WAS - ALEXANDER OVECHKIN 40 (JIRI NOVOTNY) 5:27

    Capitals vs. ThrashersMar 12 8:11 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 0
    ATLANTA 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - VYACHESLAV KOZLOV 23 (MARIAN HOSSA) 11:26
    ATL - BOBBY HOLIK 11 (ERIC BOULTON) 16:51
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WAS 7 7
    ATL 10 1

    Mar 12 7:45 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 0
    ATLANTA 2
    1ST PRD: ATL - BOBBY HOLIK 11 (ERIC BOULTON) 16:51

    Capitals vs. ThrashersMar 12 7:40 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 0
    ATLANTA 1
    1ST PRD: ATL - VYACHESLAV KOZLOV 23 (MARIAN HOSSA) 11:26

    Capitals vs. ThrashersMar 12 7:30 PM