|ATL||0||1||1||(0 - 0)||2|
|OTT||0||1||0||(0 - 0)||1|
OTTAWA (AP) - The Atlanta Thrashers' power-play and penalty-killing units produced their desired results while the Ottawa Senators' special teams had their problems.
Ilya Kovalchuk and Andy Sutton scored power-play goals and Kari Lehtonen made 34 saves, leading Atlanta to a 2-1 win over Ottawa on Thursday night.
Kovalchuk tied it late in the second with his 37th goal, which moved him ahead of the New York Rangers' Jaromir Jagr for the league lead. Sutton put the Thrashers ahead midway through the third with his third of the season.
Marc Savard and Niclas Havelid combined to set up both power-play goals for Atlanta, which won for the second time in three games following a season-high seven-game losing streak.
"Our power play was playing really well tonight, and our penalty killing did an unbelievable job," Kovalchuk said.
The low-scoring game featured five of the NHL's top 10 scorers, including Kovalchuk, Savard and Marian Hossa, who failed to register a point in his first game in Ottawa since he and defenseman Greg De Vries were sent to Atlanta in the Aug. 23 trade that brought Dany Heatley to the Senators.
"We worked hard," said Hossa, who is third on the team in scoring behind Kovalchuk and Savard with 28 goals and 37 assists. "We know we haven't played our best the last few weeks."
The Thrashers, who beat the Senators 8-3 on Jan. 2 in Heatley's first game in Atlanta, went 2-for-5 with the man advantage. Ottawa failed to score during its three power-play opportunities after going 0-for-8 in a 5-1 loss to the Rangers the night before.
"Our special teams tonight were the difference," said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, who was in the penalty box serving his second holding penalty of the game when Sutton scored the go-ahead goal. "Five-on-five, I think we were the better team. It's a tough loss."
Heatley, who hit the left post 1:09 in, and Alfredsson also are among the league's top 10 scorers. Booed relentlessly last month by the Phillips Arena crowd during his first game against the Thrashers, Heatley - who requested the trade - said it wasn't difficult to play his old team this time around.
"The first game was different but tonight we were just worried about getting ourselves back on track," Heatley said. "It's another loss. We've got to keep going, keep trying to get out of this and win on Saturday."
Senators rookie Andre Meszaros scored an unassisted goal 14:50 into the second to open the scoring, but that was all Ottawa could muster despite outshooting the Thrashers 35-22.
"Now, every game is like a playoff game and nobody wants to make any mistakes," Kovalchuk said.
Thrashers right wing Jean-Pierre Vigier suffered a knee injury when he collided with Senators defenseman Zdeno Chara in the second period. A team spokesman said Vigier will be re-evaluated on Friday.
Notes: Hossa was the Senators' points leader each of his last two seasons in Ottawa. He scored a team-record 45 goals and had 35 assists for 80 points in 2002-03, and 36 goals and 46 assists for 82 points the following season. ... C Brandon Bochenski was in the Ottawa lineup after being recalled from Binghamton of the AHL earlier in the day. ... The crowd of 19,604 was the Senators' 24th sellout in 28 home games.
|Andrej Meszaros Slapshot - ASST: NONE|
1 - 0 OTT
|PPG - Ilya Kovalchuk Wrist shot - ASST: Niclas Havelid , Marc Savard|
1 - 1 Tie
|PPG - Andy Sutton Slapshot - ASST: Niclas Havelid , Marc Savard|
2 - 1 ATL
|Scott Mellanby Hooking against Dany Heatley|
|Daniel Alfredsson Holding against Peter Bondra|
|Ilya Kovalchuk Roughing against Chris Neil|
|Chris Neil Roughing against Ilya Kovalchuk|
|Andrej Meszaros Holding against Peter Bondra|
|Greg De Vries Interference against Antoine Vermette|
|Chris Neil Slashing against Ilya Kovalchuk|
|Daniel Alfredsson Holding against Marian Hossa|
|Ronald Petrovicky Boarding against Vaclav Varada|
|Chris Neil Hooking|
|SA: 35||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 34||EV: 23 - 24|
|PIM: 0||PP: 7 - 7|
|SV%: .971||SH: 4 - 4|
|SA: 22||TOI: 59:04|
|Saves: 20||EV: 13 - 13|
|PIM: 0||PP: 5 - 7|
|SV%: .909||SH: 2 - 2|