for this game

Lehtonen stars in net as Thrashers top Lightning

Feb 11, 2009 - 5:31 AM
TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- The Tampa Bay Lightning threw everything they had at Kari Lehtonen in the third period, but the Finnish goaltender was up to the task.

Lehtonen made 17 of his 40 saves in the third, including a brilliant stop of rookie Steven Stamkos on a penalty shot, to help the Atlanta Thrashers to a 3-1 victory over the Lightning on Tuesday.

Colin Stuart scored his first goal of the season shorthanded, Vyacheslav Kozlov netted the go-ahead tally early in the second period and captain Ilya Kovalchuk added his team-leading 23rd into an empty net as Atlanta won for just the second time in its last eight games.

The story in this one was Lehtonen, who made seven saves in the first three minutes of the third as Tampa Bay spent the opening 3:04 of the session on the power play. Trailing, 2-1, entering the period, the Lightning peppered Lehtonen early and often while the Thrashers did not record their first shot of the third until the 9:27 mark.

"(Lehtonen) was solid all around," Atlanta coach John Anderson said. "I think he intimidates people to shoot when he's playing like that."

The fifth-year goaltender made his best save of the night with 8:09 remaining on Stamkos' penalty shot, stopping the puck with his glove along the ice just before it crossed the goal line to maintain a 2-1 lead.

"I think everyone in the building knows the puck's in his glove past the goal line, but the replay, you have to be able to see the whole puck," Stamkos said of the play, which was upheld after a review. "I guess that's the rule. You can't see the puck, although you know it's in his glove and you know it's over the line."

The penalty shot was awarded after Stamkos was taken down by defensemen Garnet Exelby and Ron Hainsey while heading in on a breakaway. The first overall pick in 2008 slid the puck past Lehtonen before the netminder reached back with his glove near the right goalpost to make his seventh save in eight career penalty shots faced.

"(Stamkos) made a nice move," Lehtonen said. "I thought he was going the other way and I was kind of sliding there, and then it was just desperation. I got my glove there, trying to hold it in front of the line. He made a very nice move there."

Gary Roberts scored the lone goal for Tampa Bay, which fell to 1-4-1 in its last six games and 2-2-0 against its Southeast Division rival.

"I think tonight, there were a lot of disinterested players, which was kind of alarming to the coaching staff," Tampa Bay interim coach Rick Tocchet said. "As a staff, we're pretty disappointed in some guys."

The veteran Roberts received a backhand pass from Steve Downie and one-timed a shot past Lehtonen just 84 seconds into the contest for a 1-0 lead.

Stuart evened it at 9:52 of the first period by slipping the puck under rookie netminder Mike McKenna, and Kozlov netted the go-ahead tally off a feed from Rich Peverley at 2:02 of the middle period.

McKenna, who was coming off his first career shutout in a 1-0 win over the New York Islanders on Saturday, made 21 saves.

"The difference between winning games could mean one goal, and the first goal on me was terrible. I feel like I let everyone down on that one," McKenna said. "We would've at least had a point out of it otherwise, so it's really frustrating."

Kovalchuk sealed the win with an empty-netter, his 12th goal in 18 games, with 10 seconds remaining in the third.








  • CORRECTION
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 1 1 1 3
    TAMPA BAY 1 0 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - GARY ROBERTS 4 (STEVE DOWNIE, STEVEN STAMKOS) 1:24
    ATL - (SH) COLIN STUART 1 (ERIC PERRIN) 9:52
    2ND PRD: ATL - VYACHESLAV KOZLOV 18 (RICH PEVERLEY, NICLAS HAVELID)
    2:02
    3RD PRD: ATL - (EN) ILYA KOV

    Feb 10 10:10 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 3
    TAMPA BAY 1
    3RD PRD: ATL - (EN) ILYA KOVALCHUK 23 (UNASSISTED) 19:50

    Thrashers 3, Lightning 1  End of Reg.Feb 10 10:09 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 1 1 0 2
    TAMPA BAY 1 0 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - GARY ROBERTS 4 (STEVE DOWNIE, STEVEN STAMKOS) 1:24
    ATL - (SH) COLIN STUART 1 (ERIC PERRIN) 9:52
    2ND PRD: ATL - VYACHESLAV KOZLOV 18 (RICH PEVERLEY, NICLAS HAVELID)
    2:02
    3RD PRD: NONE
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: ATL

    Feb 10 10:04 PM
  • 93
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 34 roots (Close Finish)

    Thrashers 2, Lightning 1  3rd - 2:59Feb 10 9:57 PM
  • 59
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 32 roots (Close Finish)

    Thrashers 2, Lightning 1  3rd - 8:39Feb 10 9:43 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 1 1 2
    TAMPA BAY 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - GARY ROBERTS 4 (STEVE DOWNIE, STEVEN STAMKOS) 1:24
    ATL - (SH) COLIN STUART 1 (ERIC PERRIN) 9:52
    2ND PRD: ATL - VYACHESLAV KOZLOV 18 (RICH PEVERLEY, NICLAS HAVELID)
    2:02
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2

    Feb 10 9:09 PM
  • 27
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 27 roots

    Thrashers 2, Lightning 1  2nd - 8:51Feb 10 8:54 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 2
    TAMPA BAY 1
    2ND PRD: ATL - VYACHESLAV KOZLOV 18 (RICH PEVERLEY, NICLAS HAVELID)
    2:02

    Thrashers 2, Lightning 1  2nd - 17:58Feb 10 8:38 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 1 1
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - GARY ROBERTS 4 (STEVE DOWNIE, STEVEN STAMKOS) 1:24
    ATL - (SH) COLIN STUART 1 (ERIC PERRIN) 9:52
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATL 6 6
    TAM 11

    Feb 10 8:16 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    TAMPA BAY 1
    1ST PRD: ATL - (SH) COLIN STUART 1 (UNASSISTED) 9:52

    Thrashers 1, Lightning 1  1st - 10:08Feb 10 7:58 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 0
    TAMPA BAY 1
    1ST PRD: TAM - GARY ROBERTS 4 (STEVE DOWNIE, STEVEN STAMKOS) 1:24

    Thrashers 0, Lightning 1  1st - 18:36Feb 10 7:43 PM