for this game

White, Lehtonen help Thrashers escape with a win

Feb 3, 2008 - 4:28 AM
WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- The Atlanta Thrashers sorely missed Ilya Kovalchuk, but Kari Lehtonen and Todd White helped them steal a win.

White snapped a scoreless tie with 8:26 left in the third period and Lehtonen stopped 36 shots as the Thrashers posted a 2-0 victory over the Washington Capitals on Saturday in a Southeast Division matchup.

Without Kovalchuk, the league's second-leading scorer who is out with a knee injury, the Thrashers were thoroughly dominated before White came through with the decisive goal.

"They had the majority of the scoring chances through the first two periods," White said. "We were quite happy to be tied going into the third period."

"We didn't want to get in a shootout tonight," Atlanta coach Don Waddell added. "We didn't think that would be to our advantage. We really wanted to keep it tight. When you're missing your leading goal-scorer, it's always a challenge. You have to change your game plan to play to your strengths."

During a 3-on-2 rush, White stopped a pass from Mark Recchi with his skate and fired a shot from the slot that beat goaltender Olaf Kolzig to the right side for a 1-0 lead.

"We realized we were one shot away from getting a win," White said.

All-Star Marian Hossa scored his 23rd goal into an empty net with 40 seconds left to seal the win.

Lehtonen played a key role in keeping Alex Ovechkin, the league's leading scorer, off the scoreboard. The Finn stopped eight shots in the first, 10 in the second and 18 in the third to record his third shutout of the season and 10th career.

He also made a key glove save on Ovechkin with just over a minute left in the contest.

Stopping Ovechkin was no small task, as the 22-year-old All-Star Russian was coming off a four-goal, five-point performance in a 5-4 overtime victory over Montreal on Thursday.

But Ovechkin, who had 11 goals and seven assists in his previous nine games, was held scoreless for just the 10th time this season.

"It's always extra attention when he comes on the ice," Lehtonen said. "I really try to look at what line they have on the ice - where he is and how he's moving. Still, he's so dangerous. It's fun on a night like this, when things go my way and I'm able to stop him."

Meanwhile, Kolzig did not have to work too hard, as he stopped 12 shots. But it was the last one he would like to have back.

"That's usually how it happens, but you don't sit back there thinking that," Kolzig said. "I thought we played a terrific hockey game."

The Capitals played just five hours after Georgetown hosted a college basketball game against Seton Hall, and Kolzig was not pleased with the conditions of the ice at the Verizon Center.

"The ice was absolutely garbage tonight," he said. "We couldn't settle the puck down at all. But they were playing on the same ice."

White's goal ultimately cost the Capitals a chance to win six straight at home for the first time since November 17-December 16, 2000.

"It's tough," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. "This is playoff hockey because both teams know what's at stake."

Recchi collected two assists for Atlanta, which was able to win a third straight despite being outshot, 36-13.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0 2 2
    WASHINGTON 0 0 0 0 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: ATL - TODD WHITE 11 (MARK RECCHI) 11:34
    ATL - (EN) MARIAN HOSSA 23 (MARK RECCHI) 19:20
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: ATL - 0 OF 1, WAS - 0 OF 2.
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --

    Feb 2 9:30 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 2
    WASHINGTON 0
    3RD PRD: ATL - (EN) MARIAN HOSSA 23 (MARK RECCHI) 19:20

    Thrashers vs. CapitalsFeb 2 9:29 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    WASHINGTON 0
    3RD PRD: ATL - TODD WHITE 11 (MARK RECCHI) 11:34

    Thrashers vs. CapitalsFeb 2 9:13 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0 0
    WASHINGTON 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATL 2 6 8
    WAS 8 10 18
    GOALIES: ATL - KARI LEHTONEN
    WAS - OLAF KOLZIG

    Feb 2 8:34 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0
    WASHINGTON 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATL 2 2
    WAS 8 8
    GOALIES: ATL - KARI LEHTONEN
    WAS - OLAF KOLZIG

    Feb 2 7:41 PM
  • 5
    roots
    dcnationals74 Added 5 roots

    Thrashers vs. CapitalsJan 24 7:50 AM