Thrashers
Canadiens
3 - 2 Final - 2OT
  for this game

Kovalchuk nets shootout winner as Thrashers top Canadiens

Oct 31, 2007 - 3:31 AM
By Mark Lidbetter PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MONTREAL (Ticker) -- Ilya Kovalchuk's goal in the third round of the shootout lifted the Atlanta Thrashers to a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday.

Kovalchuk wristed a shot between the pads of rookie goaltender Carey Price for the eventual game-winner.

Alexei Kovalev was the final shooter for Montreal, but his backhanded shot deflected off the top of the crossbar and went high, giving Atlanta the win.

"I think we deserved it (the win)," Thrashers goaltender Johan Hedberg said. "They (Montreal) were down 2-1 and had played pretty patiently all game. It was a little more open game in the third.

"We're happy and we're going to try and build on it."

Christopher Higgins tied the game with just under two minutes left in regulation, but Price was unable to pull out a win in his second straight shootout.

"We struggled tonight," Higgins said. "We played a terrible first period. That's probably our worst game of the season.

"We didn't deserve that point at all, that's probably the only positive we can take away from tonight."

Price stopped all eight chances in a 4-3 victory over the Penguins on Saturday, but was beaten by Bryan Little and Kovalchuk on Tuesday.

"I knew they had a few good players," Price said. "You always have to look sharp or any team in the league will make you look silly.

"Kovalchuk just caught me moving, he cut across and snapped it off quick."

Hedberg made 31 saves for his first career victory against Montreal in seven tries.

After Kovalev put Montreal on top with a power-play goal at 8:10 of the second period, the Thrashers responded with Eric Perrin and Vyacheslav Kozlov scoring unassisted goals 57 seconds apart, thanks to some shaky Montreal defense.

Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov, who had his back to the play, backhanded the puck right to Perrin at the top of Price's crease. Perrin made no mistake, burying the shot low to the left for the equalizer at 16:16 of the second.

Play had barely resumed when defenseman Josh Gorges mishandled the puck just outside the Canadiens' blue line. Kozlov pounced on the loose puck and skated in alone on Price, sliding the puck inside the left post for a 2-1 advantage at 17:13 of the second period.

Atlanta killed off a two-man advantage by Montreal for 52 seconds late in the third period, but on the Canadiens' next power play, Higgins evened the game at 2-2.

"We are a shooting team on the power play," Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said. "When we shoot, we have success. When we get on the 5-on-3s - or the 4-on-3s - we seem to look for that perfect shot."

Saku Koivu received a pass down low from Kovalev and fed the puck in front for Higgins, who fired the puck past Hedberg with 1:58 left in the game.

"It was a pretty nice feed (by Kovalev) that's why he's a (heck) of a player," Higgins said. "I knew he (Hedberg) was going to come across, so I tried to squeak it through his pads - but it was a great pass to set it."

In his first home start, Price made 31 saves for the Canadiens, who had their four-game winning streak snapped.

"It was electric in here with 21,273 people, but you can't win them all," Price said.








  • NHL
    FINAL IN SHOOTOUT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 2 0 0 (2) 3
    MONTREAL 0 1 1 0 (1) 2 FINAL IN SHOOTOUT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) ALEXEI KOVALEV 6 (UNASSISTED) 8:10
    ATL - ERIC PERRIN 2 (UNASSISTED) 16:16
    ATL - VYACHESLAV KOZLOV 5 (UNASSISTED) 17:13
    3RD PRD: MON - (PP) CHRIS H

    Thrashers vs. CanadiensOct 30 10:18 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL IN OT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 2 0 0 2
    MONTREAL 0 1 1 0 2 FINAL IN OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) ALEXEI KOVALEV 6 (UNASSISTED) 8:10
    ATL - ERIC PERRIN 2 (UNASSISTED) 16:16
    ATL - VYACHESLAV KOZLOV 5 (UNASSISTED) 17:13
    3RD PRD: MON - (PP) CHRIS HIG

    Oct 30 10:17 PM


  • NHL
    END OF OT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 2 0 0 2
    MONTREAL 0 1 1 0 2 END OF OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) ALEXEI KOVALEV 6 (UNASSISTED) 8:10
    ATL - ERIC PERRIN 2 (UNASSISTED) 16:16
    ATL - VYACHESLAV KOZLOV 5 (UNASSISTED) 17:13
    3RD PRD: MON - (PP) CHRIS HIGGINS

    Oct 30 10:13 PM
  • 139
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 67 roots (Overtime)

    Thrashers vs. CanadiensOct 30 10:06 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 3RD GOING INTO OT
    1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 2 0 2
    MONTREAL 0 1 1 2 GOING INTO OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) ALEXEI KOVALEV 6 (UNASSISTED) 8:10
    ATL - ERIC PERRIN 2 (UNASSISTED) 16:16
    ATL - VYACHESLAV KOZLOV 5 (UNASSISTED) 17:13
    3RD PRD: MON - (PP) CHRIS HIGGINS 4 (SAKU KOIVU, ALEXEI KO

    Oct 30 10:04 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 2
    MONTREAL 2
    3RD PRD: MON - (PP) CHRIS HIGGINS 4 (SAKU KOIVU, ALEXEI KOVALEV) 18:02

    Thrashers vs. CanadiensOct 30 10:01 PM
  • 72
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 72 roots (Close Finish)

    Thrashers vs. CanadiensOct 30 10:01 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 2 2
    MONTREAL 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) ALEXEI KOVALEV 6 (UNASSISTED) 8:10
    ATL - ERIC PERRIN 2 (UNASSISTED) 16:16
    ATL - VYACHESLAV KOZLOV 5 (UNASSISTED) 17:13
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- --

    Oct 30 9:10 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 2
    MONTREAL 1
    2ND PRD: ATL - VYACHESLAV KOZLOV 5 (UNASSISTED) 17:13

    Thrashers vs. CanadiensOct 30 9:06 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    MONTREAL 1
    2ND PRD: ATL - ERIC PERRIN 2 (UNASSISTED) 16:16

    Thrashers vs. CanadiensOct 30 9:04 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 0
    MONTREAL 1
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) ALEXEI KOVALEV 6 (UNASSISTED) 8:10

    Thrashers vs. CanadiensOct 30 8:50 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0
    MONTREAL 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATL 13 13
    MON 2 2
    GOALIES: ATL - JOHAN HEDBERG
    MON - CAREY PRICE

    Oct 30 8:18 PM