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Pittsburgh
Penguins
47-27-8
Atlanta
Thrashers
34-40-8
SO
31 SOG
38 SOG
1st2nd3rdOTsoT
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ATL ()
game recap

Thrashers 3, Penguins 2, SO

Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:31 AM

Associated Press

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Thrashers 3, Penguins 2, SO
Pittsburgh Penguins 2, Atlanta Thrashers 3

ATLANTA (AP) -The Pittsburgh Penguins gave up on Mark Recchi in December, when he had only eight points in 19 games.

Recchi has since proved his 19-year career is not over. He appeared to enjoy making that point with the Penguins and their coach, Michel Therrien, watching on Saturday night.

Recchi, playing against his former Pittsburgh teammates for the first time since his release, scored the only goal in a shootout to give the Atlanta Thrashers a 3-2 win over the Penguins.

"They doubted my ability to play," the 39-year-old Recchi said.

"I wanted to go out and do well. For 19 years I've been doing that."

Recchi has 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in 17 games since joining the Thrashers. He now plays with All-Star Ilya Kovalchuk on Atlanta's first line.

"I'm thankful that Don Waddell and the Thrashers gave me the opportunity to show I can still play," Recchi said, adding he still had warm feelings for his former teammates.

"There were a lot of smiles," he said. "I still have some friends there."

Recchi, claimed on re-entry waivers by Atlanta on Dec. 8, also had an assist as the Thrashers snapped the Penguins' eight-game winning streak. Pittsburgh suffered its first loss since Dec. 21 against the New York Islanders.

Recchi savored his role in snapping Pittsburgh's winning streak.

"It's nice. I'm not going to lie to you," he said. "We needed the point more than they do right now. Obviously, it feels good."

Sidney Crosby scored two goals for Pittsburgh, but he and three teammates were denied in the shootout by Kari Lehtonen.

When asked if the loss felt any different because Recchi scored the game-winner, Therrien said, "Not at all," before adding "it was a nice goal."

Waddell added: "You couldn't write a better script. The goal he scored was a great goal. I thought about putting him in our top three, but our top three have been pretty good all year, so I decided to save him for the fourth shot and he came through."

The Thrashers Mark Recchi, left, vies for the puck against Penguins defenseman Darryl Sydor, right, during the first period in Atlanta on Saturday. Recchi scored the game-winning goal during the shootout as Atlanta won, 3-2. (AP Photo/Gregory Smith)

Pittsburgh's Sergei Gonchar is happy Recchi is enjoying a career revival in Atlanta.

"When you play against him, he is not your friend," Gonchar said.

Recchi went fourth for Atlanta in the shootout. Slava Kozlov, Marian Hossa and Kovalchuk were stopped by Ty Conklin, who got his first loss in 10 decisions with Pittsburgh.

Recchi hesitated slightly before shooting past Conklin into the right side of the net. Conklin stopped 36 shots. He started each of the eight straight wins.

"That's kind of my bread and butter," Recchi said. "I saw the other shots and he made good saves. I was pretty relaxed. I wanted to make sure I made the right move. I wanted to make him stop before I made the move."

Lehtonen then stopped a shot by Evgeni Malkin to end the game.

Lehtonen opened the shootout with glove stops against Petr Sykora and Kris Letang before deflecting a try by Crosby.

Kovalchuk scored his league-leading 37th goal in the first period for Atlanta. Kovalchuk has goals in four straight games.

The Thrashers outshot the Penguins 38-31, only the seventh time they have had more shots on goal than their opponent. They are 6-1 in those games.

Crosby opened the scoring with a first-period goal, knocking in a rebound after Lehtonen stopped a shot by Ryan Whitney 5:23 into the game.

About 4 minutes later, Kovalchuk answered with a power-play goal on an assist from Recchi. Kovalchuk pumped his right fist after his shot from the left circle.

Crosby looked almost unstoppable as he gave the lead back to Pittsburgh early in the second period. Crosby skated around Eric Boulton in front of the right circle before skating behind the net, giving up the puck and then scoring on the pass from Kris Letang.

Crosby had his fifth two-goal game of the season and his first since Nov. 30 against Dallas.

Hossa earned an assist on a tying goal by Bobby Holik 1:40 into the third period. Hossa's shot was blocked by Conklin, but Holik followed by pushing the puck past the sprawling goalie.

Notes: The Thrashers played their second straight shootout, following a 3-2 home loss to Florida on Thursday. ... Conklin had allowed no more than one goal in three straight wins and gave up two goals for only the second time in seven games. ... Attendance was 18,545 for the Thrashers' fifth sellout.

scoring summary
1st Period
05:23
PIT
Sidney Crosby (19) Tip-in - ASST: Evgeni Malkin (29), Ryan Whitney (13)
1 - 0 PIT
09:31
ATL
PPG - Ilya Kovalchuk (37) Slapshot - ASST: Mark Recchi (15), Tobias Enstrom (23)
1 - 1 Tie
2nd Period
05:06
PIT
Sidney Crosby (20) Snap shot - ASST: Colby Armstrong (14), Kris Letang (5)
2 - 1 PIT
3rd Period
01:40
ATL
PPG - Bobby Holik (8) Tip-in - ASST: Marian Hossa (23), Vyacheslav Kozlov (13)
2 - 2 Tie
OT Period
NONE
Shootout
RNDATLPITTOTAL
1V. Kozlov
P. Sykora
0 - 0
2M. Hossa
K. Letang
0 - 0
3I. Kovalchuk
S. Crosby
0 - 0
4M. Recchi
E. Malkin
1 - 0
penalty summary
1st Period
09:17
PIT
Darryl Sydor  Hooking against  Brad Larsen
19:26
ATL
Pascal Dupuis  Hi-sticking against  Darryl Sydor
2nd Period
08:53
ATL
Ilya Kovalchuk  Too many men/ice - bench
18:46
PIT
Petr Sykora  Hi stick - double minor against  Alexei Zhitnik
3rd Period
03:13
ATL
Mark Popovic  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
13:17
PIT
Maxime Talbot  Roughing against  Garnet Exelby
13:17
ATL
Garnet Exelby  Roughing against  Maxime Talbot
OT Period
NONE
goalie stats
Ty Conklin
SA: 38TOI: 64:59
Saves: 36EV: 31 - 31
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 5
SV%: .947SH: 2 - 2
Kari Lehtonen
SA: 31TOI: 64:55
Saves: 29EV: 25 - 27
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 4
SV%: .935SH: 0 - 0