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Anaheim
Ducks
29-35-10-8
Atlanta
Thrashers
33-37-8-4

37 SOG
37 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
ANA
ATL
game recap

Anaheim Ducks 2, Atlanta Thrashers 6 FINAL

Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:57 AM

Associated Press

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Anaheim Ducks 2, Atlanta Thrashers 6 FINAL
Anaheim Ducks 2, Atlanta Thrashers 6

ATLANTA (AP) -- Byron Dafoe needed this one.

The Atlanta goaltender won for the first time in 10 months, stopping 35 shots to lead the Thrashers to a 6-2 win over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks on Friday night.

Marc Savard scored two more goals for the Thrashers, while Slava Kozlov had a goal and three assists to make things easy for Dafoe.

"This is huge for me personally," said Dafoe, who won for the first time since a 4-2 victory at New Jersey on Feb. 7. "It's been a long time."

Dafoe, a No. 1 goalie much of his career, missed the final 25 games last season with a hernia. He came into this season as the backup to Pasi Nurminen.

It was only the fourth game of the season for Dafoe, who had gone 20 days since his last appearance.

"This year has been tough," he admitted. "But the bottom line is, I'm a team player. I'll do what I can to help the team win. I'm a good soldier. If that means sitting on the bench, I will."

Dafoe made several dazzling saves, sprawling on his stomach to deny Joffrey Lupul late in the second period. Petr Sykora tried to stuff in the rebound, but the puck caught the post.

First-place Atlanta won for just the second time in six games but stretched its Southeast Division lead to three points over Tampa Bay.

Savard has scored six goals in six games since recovering much sooner than expected from ankle surgery. J.P. Vigier scored for the fourth game in a row, his third-period goal knocking out struggling Mighty Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere.

Anaheim, the defending Western Conference champion, lost its third in a row and has one win in the last nine games. Giguere has gone from playoff hero to a very beatable goalie, his record dropping to 4-12-2.

After giving up a soft goal to Vigier that made it 5-1, Giguere was replaced by Martin Gerber. It didn't really matter.

"At some point, we need to realize the season is on the line," Giguere said. "It's nothing to be shocked about. It's just not working. This game is very simple. It's all 20 of us."

Lupul was about the only one who showed up on this night. He got off six shots, scoring both Anaheim goals. The Mighty Ducks haven't won on the road since Oct. 29 at Washington, a stretch of 10 games.

"We need some home cooking," coach Mike Babcock said.

Savard had the first two Atlanta goals. He wasn't even supposed to be on the ice, having been projected to miss eight to 10 weeks after hurting his ankle Nov. 2.

Savard returned after only three weeks and hasn't missed a beat. He now has 11 goals in just 18 games.

"To come back a month early is basically unheard of," coach Bob Hartley said. "It was great for us to get Savvy back."

Savard was more interested in talking about the defense. The Thrashers had given up 20 goals in their last five games, reverting to the bad habits that have plagued the team through most of its existence.

"We put in a great effort defensively," Savard said. "That's all we have to do here. We have guys who can put the puck away."

Lupul beat Dafoe with a shot through the legs at 14:25 of the second period, cutting the Thrashers' lead to 2-1.

The comeback was short-lived. Jeff Cowan scored just 28 seconds later after taking a shot to the midsection while trying to set up in front of the net for deflection. Cowan scooped up his own rebound, flipping the puck past a helpless Giguere.

Kozlov made a wonderful cross-ice pass to set up Serge Aubin for a 4-1 lead at 16:50 of the second.

scoring summary
1st Period
04:33
ATL
PPG - Marc Savard (10) Snap shot - ASST: Ilya Kovalchuk (14), Vyacheslav Kozlov (11)
1 - 0 ATL
2nd Period
07:04
ATL
Marc Savard (11) Tip-in - ASST: Andy Sutton (3), Vyacheslav Kozlov (12)
2 - 0 ATL
14:25
ANA
Joffrey Lupul (4) Snap shot - ASST: NONE
2 - 1 ATL
14:53
ATL
Jeff Cowan (5) Backhand shot - ASST: Garnet Exelby (3), Marc Savard (12)
3 - 1 ATL
16:50
ATL
Serge Aubin (5) Snap shot - ASST: Vyacheslav Kozlov (13), Andy Sutton (4)
4 - 1 ATL
3rd Period
02:29
ATL
Jean-Pierre Vigier (7) Wrist shot - ASST: Garnet Exelby (4), Patrik Stefan (9)
5 - 1 ATL
15:19
ATL
Vyacheslav Kozlov (10) Snap shot - ASST: Shawn Heins (1), Ronald Petrovicky (4)
6 - 1 ATL
18:20
ANA
Joffrey Lupul (5) Wrist shot - ASST: Todd Simpson (1), Vitaly Vishnevski (3)
6 - 2 ATL
penalty summary
1st Period
03:47
ANA
Andy McDonald  Diving against  Tomas Kloucek
03:47
ATL
Tomas Kloucek  Hooking against  Andy McDonald
04:10
ANA
Steve Rucchin  Hooking against  Ronald Petrovicky
06:13
ANA
Garrett Burnett  Fighting (maj) against  Francis Lessard
06:13
ANA
Garrett Burnett  Game misconduct against  Shawn McEachern
06:13
ATL
Francis Lessard  Fighting (maj) against  Garrett Burnett
07:40
ATL
Ronald Petrovicky  Charging against  Sandis Ozolinsh
11:39
ATL
Ilya Kovalchuk  Slashing against  Petr Sykora
11:39
ANA
Petr Sykora  Slashing against  Ilya Kovalchuk
19:52
ANA
Stanislav Chistov  Delay of game
2nd Period
04:52
ANA
Ruslan Salei  Hooking against  Jeff Cowan
10:54
ANA
Stanislav Chistov  Hi-sticking
3rd Period
07:31
ATL
Garnet Exelby  Roughing against  Jason Krog
15:39
ATL
Shawn Heins  Tripping
goalie stats
Martin Gerber
SA: 9TOI: 16:00
Saves: 8EV: 8 - 9
PIM: 0PP: 0 - 0
SV%: .889SH: 0 - 0
Jean-Sebastien Giguere
SA: 28TOI: 44:00
Saves: 23EV: 20 - 24
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 4
SV%: .821SH: 0 - 0
Byron Dafoe
SA: 37TOI: 59:58
Saves: 35EV: 33 - 35
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 1
SV%: .946SH: 1 - 1