Thrashers
Panthers
2 - 3 Final - OT
  for this game

Horton's overtime goal helps Panthers edge Thrashers

Mar 9, 2008 - 6:02 AM
SUNRISE, Florida (Ticker) -- Nathan Horton delivered the final blow in a hard-fought contest.

Horton scored a power-play goal with 23 seconds remaining in overtime as the Florida Panthers posted a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday.

Brett McLean scored a pair of man-advantage goals and Tomas Vokoun snapped a personal six-game losing streak for Florida, which has won four straight.

The Panthers (32-31-8), who matched their season high for consecutive wins, remained six points behind the Philadelphia Flyers 35-26-8) for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.

Rookie Bryan Little and All-Star Ilya Kovalchuk tallied for Atlanta (30-32-8), which fell to 1-6-3 in its last 10 games and 10 points behind Philadelphia.

With the game knotted at 2-2 late in overtime and Florida on its fourth power play of the night, Rostislav Olesz skated out from behind the net and found Horton just above the left faceoff circle.

The Ontario native wound up and blistered a shot past goaltender Kari Lehtonen to give the Panthers a 3-2 advantage in the season series.

"Olesz was behind the net and he made a quick pass to me," said Horton, the third overall pick in the 2003 draft. "I just tried to shoot it really hard to the net, and Rostislav made a great screen. The goalie didn't see anything, and that's how it went in." "It was coming in glove side, but I think it hit a guy in front, a leg or something, because it went down before it got to me and under my glove," Lehtonen said.

The Panthers received a power play in the extra session when Kovalchuk was called for hooking at 3:18.

"We played pretty good early, battled hard and had a couple chances late," Kovalchuk said. "It was just a bad penalty by me in OT when they scored the game-winner."

The Thrashers opened a 2-0 lead in the first period of a game dominated by special teams.

After Florida's Stephen Weiss was whistled for tripping, Little slapped the puck past Vokoun and into the right corner of the net after a nice feed from Mark Recchi just 2:12 into the contest.

"It was kind of a garbage goal," Little said. "It was good to get one. I haven't been scoring, so it was good for the confidence. I just wish it came in a winning effort."

With just over three minutes left in the first period, Recchi dished to Kovalchuk, whose slap shot from the left circle during a man advantage went between Vokoun's legs.

It was Kovalchuk's 45th goal of the season, six of which have come against Florida.

However, the Panthers halved the deficit on the power play with 88 seconds left in the first, when McLean took a shot from the right circle that hit off a skate and trickled under Lehtonen's right pad.

McLean scored his second man-advantage tally at 8:40 of the second to tie the game.

After the puck bounced off the end boards, McLean - who was hovering on the right side of the net - stuffed the puck between the pads of Lehtonen for his 13th goal and first multi-tally effort of the season.

"We got those two early goals but couldn't capitalize in the third, when we had two back-to-back power-play opportunities," Thrashers coach Don Waddell said. "We had our chances but couldn't bury them."

Vokoun, who had not won since beating Washington on February 15, stopped 25 shots in evening his lifetime record against Atlanta to 4-4-1.

"When you get a little bit off your game, it's all in your head," Vokoun said. "Same body, same person, but sometimes, for whatever reason, you're fighting the puck a little bit. Hopefully, this (win) is what I needed to turn things around."

Lehtonen, whose last win also came against the Capitals on February 13, made 40 saves.

"It's just frustrating," Lehtonen said. "I don't even remember when I won a game last. There's only so much you can take. I just need to battle and come back strong in the next game."






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    Thrashers 2, Panthers 3  End of OTMar 8 10:43 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL IN OT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 2 0 0 0 2
    FLORIDA 1 1 0 1 3 FINAL IN OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - (PP) BRYAN LITTLE 4 (ERIK CHRISTENSEN, MARK RECCHI)
    2:12
    ATL - (PP) ILYA KOVALCHUK 45 (MARK RECCHI, TOBIAS ENSTROM)
    16:53
    FLA - (PP) BRETT MCLEAN 12 (JAY BOUWMEESTER

    Mar 8 10:43 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 2
    FLORIDA 3
    OT: FLA - (PP) NATHAN HORTON 23 (ROSTISLAV OLESZ, OLLI JOKINEN)
    4:37

    Thrashers 2, Panthers 3  End of OTMar 8 10:41 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 67 roots (Overtime)

    Thrashers 2, Panthers 2  OT - 4:55Mar 8 10:32 PM
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    Thrashers 2, Panthers 2  3rd - 3:47Mar 8 10:31 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 3RD GOING INTO OT
    1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 2 0 0 2
    FLORIDA 1 1 0 2 GOING INTO OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - (PP) BRYAN LITTLE 4 (ERIK CHRISTENSEN, MARK RECCHI)
    2:12
    ATL - (PP) ILYA KOVALCHUK 45 (MARK RECCHI, TOBIAS ENSTROM)
    16:53
    FLA - (PP) BRETT MCLEAN 12 (JAY BOUWMEESTER, ROSTISLAV
    OLESZ) 18:32
    2ND

    Mar 8 10:31 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 17 roots (Close Finish)

    Thrashers 2, Panthers 2  3rd - 3:47Mar 8 10:20 PM
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    Thrashers 2, Panthers 2  3rd - 5:08Mar 8 10:17 PM
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    Thrashers 2, Panthers 2  3rd - 7:15Mar 8 10:14 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 2 0 2
    FLORIDA 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - (PP) BRYAN LITTLE 4 (ERIK CHRISTENSEN, MARK RECCHI)
    2:12
    ATL - (PP) ILYA KOVALCHUK 45 (MARK RECCHI, TOBIAS ENSTROM)
    16:53
    FLA - (PP) BRETT MCLEAN 12 (JAY BOUWMEESTER, ROSTISLAV
    OLESZ) 18:32
    2ND P

    Mar 8 8:37 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 2
    FLORIDA 2
    2ND PRD: FLA - (PP) BRETT MCLEAN 13 (JAY BOUWMEESTER, OLLI JOKINEN)
    8:40

    Thrashers 2, Panthers 2  2nd - 11:20Mar 8 8:19 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 2 2
    FLORIDA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - (PP) BRYAN LITTLE 4 (ERIK CHRISTENSEN, MARK RECCHI)
    2:12
    ATL - (PP) ILYA KOVALCHUK 45 (MARK RECCHI, TOBIAS ENSTROM)
    16:53
    FLA - (PP) BRETT MCLEAN 12 (JAY BOUWMEESTER, ROSTISLAV
    OLESZ) 18:32
    SHOTS

    Mar 8 7:45 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 2
    FLORIDA 1
    1ST PRD: FLA - (PP) BRETT MCLEAN 12 (JAY BOUWMEESTER, ROSTISLAV OLESZ)
    18:32

    Thrashers 2, Panthers 1  1st - 1:28Mar 8 7:42 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 2
    FLORIDA 0
    1ST PRD: ATL - (PP) ILYA KOVALCHUK 45 (MARK RECCHI, TOBIAS ENSTROM)
    16:53

    Thrashers 2, Panthers 0  1st - 3:07Mar 8 7:39 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    FLORIDA 0
    1ST PRD: ATL - (PP) BRYAN LITTLE 4 (ERIK CHRISTENSEN, MARK RECCHI)
    2:12

    Thrashers 1, Panthers 0  1st - 17:48Mar 8 7:13 PM
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    Thrashers vs. PanthersMar 5 8:48 AM