for this game

Kovalchuk rallied Thrashers past Flames

Mar 14, 2008 - 5:03 AM
By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) - Ilya Kovalchuk helped the Atlanta Thrashers to their first regulation win in more than a month.

Kovalchuk recorded his third hat trick of the season and assisted on Bobby Holik's game-winner as the Thrashers erased a three-goal deficit to defeat the Calgary Flames, 6-4, on Thursday.

Newly acquired Colby Armstrong and Chris Thorburn added tallies for the Thrashers, who won a game without going to overtime for the first time since February 2.

"I think hard work was the big difference tonight," Kovalchuk said. "We wanted to play hard for each other. It was tough. We were down three goals, but we came back and showed a lot of character."

Captain Jarome Iginla scored two goals and center Daymond Langkow added a goal and two assists for the Flames, who fell two points behind Colorado for first place in the crowded Northwest Division with 82 points.

"We have to be better," Iginla said. "We have to find ways to play better when we have the lead. We are not being as sharp as we should be."

Wayne Primeau also tallied for the Flames, who continue to struggle in their old back yard, falling to 0-4-1 here.

Calgary, which played its first eight seasons here from 1972-1980, has not won in Atlanta since the club left for Alberta at the end of the 1979-1980 campaign.

"It's perplexing more than anything why a group like this has had swings all year long," Flames coach Mike Keenan said. "It continues to happen to the detriment of our success right now. It's a frustrating group (to coach)."

With the contest knotted at 4-4, All-Star Kovalchuk streaked down the left wing. As the defense converged on the Russian standout, he dished a cross-ice pass to Holik, who buried a one-timer from the high slot over the glove of goaltender Curtis Joseph to give Atlanta the lead with 3:47 remaining.

"What set it up was a great pass by Kovy," Holik said. "I had all the time in the world and shot it as hard as I could and as quick as I could."

Kovalchuk sealed the victory with his 48th goal of the season, tallying a power-play empty-netter with 61 seconds remaining.

"It was good (to get the hat trick), but most importantly to win," Kovalchuk said. "We showed a lot of character and it was exciting to watch it."

Things did not start out that well for the struggling Thrashers (31-33-8), who had just one win in their last 11 games entering Thursday and watched the Flames score three unanswered goals to start the contest.

Langkow got the Flames on the board with a shorthanded tally at 13:57 of the first period. The 31-year-old stole the puck from rookie blue-liner Tobias Enstrom just outside the Atlanta blue line and beat Atlanta netminder Kari Lehtonen to the blocker side with a wrister from the doorstep.

Iginla followed with the next two tallies to give the Flames what appeared to be a commanding three-goal cushion.

The Western Conference's All-Star captain tipped Adrian Aucoin's one-timer from above the right faceoff circle past Lehtonen to give Calgary a 2-0 edge at 17:44 of the first period, and added his Western Conference-leading 44th tally of the season at 2:45 of the second period.

Langkow's shot from the left faceoff circle bounced of the pad of Lehtonen right to the stick of Iginla, who buried on a one-timer from just inside the right faceoff circle into a vacated right side of the net to give Calgary a three-goal cushion.

Atlanta answered back with a pair of tallies nine seconds apart.

Armstrong followed with a tally from the inside the right faceoff circle, depositing a rebound of Eric Perrin's shot into the vacated side of the net to cut the deficit to 3-2 at 4:38 of the second.

After Primeau blasted wrister over the glove of Lehtonen at 12:39 of the middle session to rebuild a two-goal Calgary advantage, Kovalchuk netted his second goal of the night and 47th of the season when his slap shot from the point beat Joseph stick side at 17:36 of the second period to cut the lead to 4-3.

"We just talked about not being denied tonight," Thrashers coach Don Waddell said of the power-play tally. "When we got the third goal, it seemed to spark us. These guys battled and it's nice to get rewarded for our hard work tonight."

Thorburn tied the contest, beating Joseph glove side with a wrister from between the circles after a pretty deke move to knot the contest at 4-4 with 9:50 remaining in the third period.

"My line was good tonight," Thorburn said of his reshuffled pairing with Holik and Kovalchuk, which tallied five of the six Atlanta goals. "I think we kept it simple and followed the game plan and good things happened tonight."

Another player enjoying a renaissance was Lehtonen. The 24-year-old Finn set aside 28 shots for Atlanta to record his first win in 10 games, dating to a February 13 victory over Washington.

Joseph stopped 27 shots for Calgary, which fell to 0-2-0 on its four-game East Coast swing.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CALGARY 2 2 0 4
    ATLANTA 0 3 3 6 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CGY - (SH) DAYMOND LANGKOW 27 (UNASSISTED) 13:57
    CGY - JAROME IGINLA 43 (ADRIAN AUCOIN, DAYMOND LANGKOW)
    17:44
    2ND PRD: CGY - JAROME IGINLA 44 (DAYMOND LANGKOW, KRISTIAN HUSELIUS)
    2:45
    ATL - ILYA KOVALCHUK 46 (BOBBY

    Mar 13 9:30 PM


  • NHL
    CALGARY 4
    ATLANTA 6
    3RD PRD: ATL - (PP) (EN) ILYA KOVALCHUK 48 (MARK RECCHI, BOBBY HOLIK)
    18:59

    Flames 4, Thrashers 6  3rd - 1:01Mar 13 9:26 PM


  • NHL
    CALGARY 4
    ATLANTA 5
    3RD PRD: ATL - BOBBY HOLIK 12 (ILYA KOVALCHUK, STEVE MCCARTHY) 16:13

    Flames 4, Thrashers 5  3rd - 3:47Mar 13 9:21 PM
  • 11
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 44 roots (Close Finish)

    Flames 4, Thrashers 5  3rd - 3:47Mar 13 9:21 PM
  • 55
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 55 roots (Close Finish)

    Flames 4, Thrashers 4  3rd - 5:40Mar 13 9:14 PM


  • NHL
    CALGARY 4
    ATLANTA 4
    3RD PRD: ATL - CHRIS THORBURN 4 (UNASSISTED) 10:10

    Flames 4, Thrashers 4  3rd - 9:50Mar 13 9:08 PM


  • ------------------------------
    Calgary
    2 2 --4
    Atlanta 0 3 --3
    ------------------------------

    Shots on goal:
    ----------------------------------
    Calgary 11 8 --19
    Atlanta 5 15 --20
    ----------------------------------

    Goalies : Calgary, Curtis Joseph (20 shots, 17 saves). Atlanta, Kari
    Lehtonen (19 shots, 15 saves). Referees: Dennis Larue,

    Mar 13 8:37 PM


  • NHL
    CALGARY 4
    ATLANTA 3
    2ND PRD: ATL - (PP) ILYA KOVALCHUK 47 (MARK RECCHI, ERIK CHRISTENSEN)
    17:36

    Flames 4, Thrashers 3  2nd - 2:24Mar 13 8:34 PM


  • NHL
    CALGARY 4
    ATLANTA 2
    2ND PRD: CGY - WAYNE PRIMEAU 3 (MATTHEW LOMBARDI, STEPHANE YELLE) 6:42

    Flames 4, Thrashers 2  2nd - 13:18Mar 13 8:27 PM


  • NHL
    CALGARY 3
    ATLANTA 2
    2ND PRD: ATL - COLBY ARMSTRONG 12 (ERIC PERRIN, KEN KLEE) 4:38

    Flames 3, Thrashers 2  2nd - 15:22Mar 13 8:10 PM


  • NHL
    CALGARY 3
    ATLANTA 1
    2ND PRD: ATL - ILYA KOVALCHUK 46 (BOBBY HOLIK, CHRIS THORBURN) 4:29

    Flames 3, Thrashers 1  2nd - 15:31Mar 13 8:09 PM


  • NHL
    CALGARY 3
    ATLANTA 0
    2ND PRD: CGY - JAROME IGINLA 44 (DAYMOND LANGKOW, KRISTIAN HUSELIUS)
    2:45

    Flames 3, Thrashers 0  2nd - 17:15Mar 13 8:06 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CALGARY 2 2
    ATLANTA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CGY - (SH) DAYMOND LANGKOW 27 (UNASSISTED) 13:57
    CGY - JAROME IGINLA 43 (ADRIAN AUCOIN, DAYMOND LANGKOW)
    17:44
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CGY 10 10
    AT

    Mar 13 7:43 PM


  • NHL
    CALGARY 2
    ATLANTA 0
    1ST PRD: CGY - JAROME IGINLA 43 (ADRIAN AUCOIN, DAYMOND LANGKOW) 17:44

    Flames 2, Thrashers 0  1st - 2:16Mar 13 7:42 PM


  • NHL
    CALGARY 1
    ATLANTA 0
    1ST PRD: CGY - (SH) DAYMOND LANGKOW 27 (UNASSISTED) 13:57

    Flames 1, Thrashers 0  1st - 6:03Mar 13 7:34 PM