Canucks
Thrashers
3 - 4 Final - 2OT
  for this game

Christensen helps Thrashers end slide in shootout

Jan 3, 2009 - 5:38 AM
By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Erik Christensen helped the Atlanta Thrashers open the new year with a rare home win.

Christensen scored the decisive goal in the fourth round of the shootout as the Thrashers ended a four-game skid Friday with a 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

Ilya Kovalchuk registered a goal and an assist, rookie Joey Crabb and Vyacheslav Kozlov also tallied in regulation and Kari Lehtonen made 35 saves for the Thrashers, who also had dropped three in a row and 10 of 11 at home.

"Hopefully with this win, we can get something going and get more wins," Lehtonen said. "This is a game we can build on. It's a good start."

"We can build on this," Christensen agreed. "Never mind the shootout - our team played well against a very good hockey club."

Henrik Sedin scored twice and Daniel Sedin netted his team-leading 19th goal and added a pair of assists in his 600th career game for Vancouver, which has lost four of six.

"There are no easy games in this league," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "It was a hard-fought game by both teams."

After a winner failed to emerge after 65 minutes, Pavol Demitra put the Canucks ahead in the first round of the shootout by lifting a backhander over the left pad of a sprawled Lehtonen, who made 35 saves. But Kozlov evened the bonus format on Atlanta's second opportunity, drifting to the left side of the net before putting a wrist shot under the crossbar.

Kyle Wellwood and Alex Burrows missed on their attempts and Kovalchuk was stopped by netminder Jason LaBarbera, setting the stage for Christensen.

The much-maligned center, who has appeared in just 25 games this season, gave the Thrashers the advantage, deking LaBarbera out of position before sliding the puck into a vacant net.

"I don't know what it is with a shootout, but for what it is, I'm always very calm," Christensen said. "Everybody has one of their go-to type moves. I was trying to put the goalie in the corner of the net with the first move so that I had the whole net."

"He played pretty good in the last few games," Atlanta coach John Anderson said. "He is starting to get his confidence again. He had a couple of chances tonight. When he gets a game where he gets a couple of goals, it's going to be off to the races."

Vancouver's last chance, Daniel Sedin had his wrister was stopped by Lehtonen, giving the Atlanta just its second home win since November 14.

Luckily for the Thrashers, they were facing LaBarbera, who was making his second start in as many nights and had stopped just 1-of-7 shots in the bonus format entering Friday.

"My success rate in the shootout hasn't been very good," said LaBarbera, who fell to 0-4 in shootouts this season. "I would have liked to come up with one more save."

Crabb opened the scoring nine minutes into the game. After chasing down a loose puck on the right wing, Crabb unleashed a blast from the top of the right faceoff circle that beat LaBarbera to the stick side for a shorthanded goal.

However, Jim Slater was whistled for slashing 35 seconds later, and the Sedin brothers went to work.

Henrik Sedin tipped in a shot by Daniel from the right side of the net at 10:26 to knot the contest at 1-1. The 28-year-old identical twins from Sweden then teamed up in the second period to put Vancouver in front.

Daniel Sedin slid the puck in front of the net to Henrik, who chipped it past Lehtonen at 7:14 for a 2-1 edge.

But Kovalchuk, who snapped a career-high nine-game goalless drought with a tally in Atlanta's 3-1 loss to Carolina on Wednesday, broke through at home for the first time since December 12 with 7:36 remaining in the session to forge a tie.

From behind the net, Jason Williams dished the puck to Kovalchuk, who wristed it past the outstretched glove of LaBarbera from low in the left circle for his 13th of the season.

Kozlov put Atlanta ahead with his 16th goal just 3:46 into the third, but the Sedins struck again with 8:44 left, as Henrik's wrister from the left point deflected off a defender before hitting Daniel and entering the net to again tie the game.

"It was a good road game," Henrik Sedin said. "We will take the points and look forward to our next game on Sunday (against Dallas)."






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    Canucks 3, Thrashers 4  Final - 2OTJan 3 5:53 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL IN SHOOTOUT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    VANCOUVER 1 1 1 0 (1) 3
    ATLANTA 1 1 1 0 (2) 4 FINAL IN SHOOTOUT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - (SH) JOSEPH CRABB 3 (NICLAS HAVELID) 9:00
    VAN - (PP) HENRIK SEDIN 6 (DANIEL SEDIN, KEVIN BIEKSA) 10:26
    2ND PRD: VAN - HENRIK SEDIN 7 (DANIEL SEDIN, PAVOL DEMITRA) 7:

    Canucks 3, Thrashers 4  Final - 2OTJan 2 10:17 PM


  • NHL
    END OF OT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    VANCOUVER 1 1 1 0 3
    ATLANTA 1 1 1 0 3 END OF OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - (SH) JOSEPH CRABB 3 (NICLAS HAVELID) 9:00
    VAN - (PP) HENRIK SEDIN 6 (DANIEL SEDIN, KEVIN BIEKSA) 10:26
    2ND PRD: VAN - HENRIK SEDIN 7 (DANIEL SEDIN, PAVOL DEMITRA) 7:14
    ATL

    Jan 2 10:11 PM
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    Canucks 3, Thrashers 3  OT - 4:55Jan 2 10:03 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 3RD GOING INTO OT
    1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    VANCOUVER 1 1 1 3
    ATLANTA 1 1 1 3 GOING INTO OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - (SH) JOSEPH CRABB 3 (NICLAS HAVELID, MARTY REASONER)
    9:00
    VAN - (PP) HENRIK SEDIN 6 (DANIEL SEDIN, KEVIN BIEKSA) 10:26
    2ND PRD: VAN - HENRIK SEDIN 7 (DANIEL SEDIN, PAVOL DEMITRA) 7:14
    ATL - ILYA

    Jan 2 10:02 PM
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    Canucks 3, Thrashers 3  End of Reg.Jan 2 10:02 PM
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    Canucks 3, Thrashers 3  3rd - 4:15Jan 2 9:56 PM
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    Canucks 3, Thrashers 3  3rd - 6:37Jan 2 9:54 PM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 3
    ATLANTA 3
    3RD PRD: VAN - DANIEL SEDIN 19 (HENRIK SEDIN, PAVOL DEMITRA) 11:16

    Canucks 3, Thrashers 3  3rd - 8:44Jan 2 9:49 PM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 2
    ATLANTA 3
    3RD PRD: ATL - (PP) VYACHESLAV KOZLOV 16 (TODD WHITE, ILYA KOVALCHUK)
    3:46

    Canucks 2, Thrashers 3  3rd - 16:14Jan 2 9:34 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    VANCOUVER 1 1 2
    ATLANTA 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - (SH) JOSEPH CRABB 3 (NICLAS HAVELID, MARTY REASONER)
    9:00
    VAN - (PP) HENRIK SEDIN 6 (DANIEL SEDIN, KEVIN BIEKSA) 10:26
    2ND PRD: VAN - HENRIK SEDIN 7 (DANIEL SEDIN, PAVOL DEMITRA) 7:14
    ATL - ILYA KO

    Jan 2 9:09 PM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 2
    ATLANTA 2
    2ND PRD: ATL - ILYA KOVALCHUK 13 (JASON WILLIAMS, ERIK CHRISTENSEN)
    12:24

    Canucks 2, Thrashers 2  2nd - 7:36Jan 2 8:56 PM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 2
    ATLANTA 1
    2ND PRD: VAN - HENRIK SEDIN 7 (DANIEL SEDIN, PAVOL DEMITRA) 7:14

    Canucks 2, Thrashers 1  2nd - 12:46Jan 2 8:47 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    VANCOUVER 1 1
    ATLANTA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - (SH) JOSEPH CRABB 3 (NICLAS HAVELID, MARTY REASONER)
    9:00
    VAN - (PP) HENRIK SEDIN 6 (DANIEL SEDIN, KEVIN BIEKSA) 10:26
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    VAN 11

    Jan 2 8:16 PM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 1
    ATLANTA 1
    1ST PRD: VAN - (PP) HENRIK SEDIN 6 (DANIEL SEDIN, KEVIN BIEKSA) 10:26

    Canucks 1, Thrashers 1  1st - 9:34Jan 2 8:01 PM


  • NHL
    VANCOUVER 0
    ATLANTA 1
    1ST PRD: ATL - (SH) JOSEPH CRABB 3 (NICLAS HAVELID, MARTY REASONER)
    9:00

    Canucks 0, Thrashers 1  1st - 11:00Jan 2 7:57 PM