for this game

Recchi, Holik help Thrashers deal blow to Panthers

Mar 28, 2008 - 4:17 AM
SUNRISE, Florida (Ticker) -- Mark Recchi and captain Bobby Holik helped the Atlanta Thrashers all but end the Florida Panthers' faint playoff hopes.

Recchi snapped a tie with 6:13 remaining in the third period and Holik scored his second goal of the game in the final minute as the Thrashers skated to a 3-2 victory over the Panthers on Thursday.

Kari Lehtonen made 42 saves for Atlanta, which snapped a five-game overall losing streak and four-game skid against Florida.

"Our goal is to win games, whether it's Florida tonight or Carolina tomorrow," Thrashers coach Don Waddell said. "We try to give our best efforts and win hockey games. Tonight, we talked about it. If we came out and (got) these guys, it puts them in a very tough spot."

Nathan Horton and Radek Dvorak tallied for the Panthers (36-33-9), who fell seven points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with four games remaining.

"These are the ones you have to win," Florida defenseman Jay Bouwmeester said of the Panthers' back-to-back losses to Tampa Bay and Atlanta. "For whatever reason, we weren't ready for either of them. There's no real excuse."

It also was Atlanta's first regulation win on the road since February 2.

"It's not about spoiling their stuff," Holik said. "We haven't had that many regulation wins in a long time. I wouldn't use the word satisfaction. It has nothing to do with us being a spoiler, it has to do with winning a game in regulation."

With the game knotted at 1-1, rookie Bryan Little created a turnover near the left wing boards and made a quick pass to Recchi at the doorstep. The 19-year veteran slipped the puck past All-Star goaltender Tomas Vokoun for his 13th goal of the season and a 2-1 lead.

"It was a good forecheck by Little," Recchi said. "He stuck with it, then he made a great backhand pass."

The tally was the 40-year-old Recchi's first in 15 games and the 521st of his career.

"You go through stretches like that, unfortunately," Recchi said. "I used to be a little bit more consistent, but I'm not quite the sniper I used to be. I still feel good out there and still (can) make plays."

Holik capped his first multi-goal effort of the campaign with an empty-netter with 59 seconds left to make it 3-1. That goal proved crucial as Dvorak netted his seventh of the season with three seconds remaining.

Atlanta opened the scoring just before the end of the first period.

After All-Star Ilya Kovalchuk fired a shot from the top of the slot that Vokoun blocked, Holik - who was hovering just in front of the net - slapped in the rebound with eight seconds to go. It was the 37-year-old Czech's 13th of the season and the 320th of his 17-year career.

However, near the midway mark of the second period, Florida finally got on the board.

On a breakaway, Horton deked Lehtonen before beating the netminder to the stick side with a backhander at 9:46 to even the contest. It was Horton's 26th goal of the campaign and 59th point, leaving him one point shy of consecutive 60-point seasons.

Horton later had a chance at an empty net as Lehtonen was out of position but missed.

"I understand I have to score when there's an empty net," Horton said. "I was trying to get it away as quick as I (could). When I thought Olli (Jokinen) was going to one-time it, he gave me a great pass and I blew it."

Lehtonen, who stopped 15 shots in the first period and 13 in the second, turned aside 15 more in the third en route to his 15th win of 2007-08.

"It was a good battle from everybody," Lehtonen said. "Overall, a great team win. You have to be happy, things went our way. That loss is hard for Florida. That probably cost them a season. Good for us that we got two points, though."

Vokoun made 26 saves for the Panthers, who went 0-for-7 on the power play.

"We had too many power plays and didn't score," Horton said. "That was definitely the game right there."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 1 0 2 3
    FLORIDA 0 1 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - BOBBY HOLIK 13 (ILYA KOVALCHUK, CHRIS THORBURN) 19:52
    2ND PRD: FLA - NATHAN HORTON 26 (DAVID BOOTH, BRETT MCLEAN) 9:46
    3RD PRD: ATL - MARK RECCHI 13 (BRYAN LITTLE) 13:47
    ATL - (EN) BOBBY HOLIK 14 (UNASSISTED) 19

    Mar 27 10:05 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 3
    FLORIDA 2
    3RD PRD: FLA - RADEK DVORAK 7 (KAMIL KREPS, GREGORY CAMPBELL) 19:57

    Thrashers 3, Panthers 2  3rd - 0:03Mar 27 10:03 PM
  • 25
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 15 roots (Close Finish)

    Thrashers 3, Panthers 2  3rd - 0:03Mar 27 10:03 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 3
    FLORIDA 1
    3RD PRD: ATL - (EN) BOBBY HOLIK 14 (UNASSISTED) 19:01

    Thrashers 3, Panthers 1  3rd - 0:59Mar 27 10:01 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 2
    FLORIDA 1
    3RD PRD: ATL - MARK RECCHI 13 (BRYAN LITTLE) 13:47

    Thrashers 2, Panthers 1  3rd - 6:13Mar 27 9:52 PM
  • 10
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 27 roots (Close Finish)

    Thrashers 2, Panthers 1  3rd - 6:13Mar 27 9:52 PM
  • 37
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 32 roots (Close Finish)

    Thrashers 1, Panthers 1  3rd - 6:40Mar 27 9:50 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 1 0 1
    FLORIDA 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - BOBBY HOLIK 13 (ILYA KOVALCHUK, CHRIS THORBURN) 19:52
    2ND PRD: FLA - NATHAN HORTON 26 (DAVID BOOTH, BRETT MCLEAN) 9:46
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATL 9 13

    Mar 27 9:09 PM
  • 5
    roots
    bigsexy Added 5 roots

    Thrashers 1, Panthers 1  2nd - 3:44Mar 27 9:06 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    FLORIDA 1
    2ND PRD: FLA - NATHAN HORTON 26 (DAVID BOOTH, BRETT MCLEAN) 9:46

    Thrashers 1, Panthers 1  2nd - 10:14Mar 27 8:55 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 1 1
    FLORIDA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - BOBBY HOLIK 13 (ILYA KOVALCHUK, CHRIS THORBURN) 19:52
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATL 9 9
    FLA 15 15
    GOALIES: ATL - KARI LEHTONEN

    Mar 27 8:16 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    FLORIDA 0
    1ST PRD: ATL - BOBBY HOLIK 13 (ILYA KOVALCHUK, CHRIS THORBURN) 19:52

    Thrashers 1, Panthers 0  1st - 0:08Mar 27 8:15 PM