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Vancouver
Canucks
45-27-10
Atlanta
Thrashers
35-41-6
SO
38 SOG
37 SOG
1st2nd3rdOTsoT
VAN ()
ATL ()
game recap

Thrashers 4, Canucks 3, SO

Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:24 AM

Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) -Eric Christensen might have a handle on why the Thrashers have been perfect in shootouts this season while struggling during regulation.

Christensen scored the winner in an extra round of the shootout Friday night, lifting the Thrashers to a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks to snap a four-game skid.

I don't know what it is with a shootout," Christensen said. "I'm always calm, which is different than during the game."

Atlanta also won its other shootout, beating Buffalo on Oct. 18 when Ilya Kovalchuk and Slava Kozlov scored. Christensen was stopped that time, but he came through against Vancouver.

Kari Lehtonen made 35 saves for Atlanta and turned back the final shootout bid by Daniel Sedin as the Thrashers won for the first time this season against a Western Conference team after five losses. It was also just the second home win for the Thrashers in their past 12 games.

Kozlov and Vancouver's Pavol Demitra scored in the first three rounds of the shootout to force an extra round.

"All my life," Christensen replied when asked how long he had been working on the move that produced the winner against LaBarbera. "It's called the double deke. It's one of the two moves I usually do."

Shootouts haven't been kind to Vancouver. The Canucks dropped to 1-4.

"This is a game we can build on," Lehtonen said. "We played well in the third (period). It's too bad they were able to tie the game."

Kozlov, Kovalchuk and Joey Crabb had goals in regulation play for Atlanta. Henrik Sedin had two goals and twin Daniel Sedin the other for Vancouver. Each of the Sedins had three points.

"We probably should have won the game before the shootout," Daniel Sedin said.

LaBarbera made 34 saves while playing for the second straight night after being acquired from Los Angeles when the Canucks lost Roberto Luongo and Curtis Stanford because of groin injuries.

"My success rate in the shootout hasn't been very good," LaBarbera said. "I would of liked to come up with one more save."

After Kozlov converted a rebound on the power play to give Atlanta a 3-2 lead with 3:46 into the third period, Vancouver tied it with 8:44 left when Daniel Sedin, fighting Marty Reasoner in front, tipped Henrik Sedin's shot past Lehtonen for his 19th goal.

Henrik Sedin's second goal came at 7:14 of the second period - the center wheeled around Reasoner and jammed the puck past Lehtonen to the short side. It was Sedin's seventh goal of the season.

Kovalchuk, who had gone a career-high nine games without a goal before scoring Wednesday at Carolina, made it 2-all at 12:24 of the period. Kovalchuk took a feed from Jason Williams, who was behind the net, and ripped a shot past LaBarbera for his 13th goal.

"Every time Kovalchuk had the puck, something happened," LaBarbera said. "He is a special player."

The Thrashers took the lead 9 minutes into the game with their first short-handed goal of the season. Niclas Havelid chipped the puck up ice on the penalty kill and Crabb outraced Demitra to it. The goal was the rookie's third of the season.

But the advantage didn't last long. Just 35 seconds after Crabb's goal on a hard shot from outside the right faceoff circle, Jim Slater gave Vancouver a two-man advantage with a slashing penalty, and the Canucks cashed in.

Henrik Sedin tapped in a loose puck at the 10:26 mark while a Thrashers' player had a broken stick.

Atlanta's Eric Boulton and Vancouver's Mike Brown fought just 4 seconds after the puck was dropped to start the game and both teams were feisty throughout.

Notes: Mats Sundin didn't make the two-game trip with the Canucks to Nashville and Atlanta. The former Toronto center, who signed with Vancouver Dec. 18, is likely to make his debut with the Canucks in a home game against St. Louis next Friday. Sundin is yet to have a full practice with his new team. Thrashers rookie D Zach Bogosian, who had been out since late October with a broken leg before returning Wednesday against Carolina, didn't dress as D Nathan Oystrick returned to the lineup. Atlanta C Eric Perrin was a healthy scratch for the second time this season.

scoring summary
1st Period
09:00
ATL
SHG - Joey Crabb (3) Slapshot - ASST: Niclas Havelid (10), Marty Reasoner (6)
1 - 0 ATL
10:26
VAN
PPG - Henrik Sedin (6) Tip-in - ASST: Daniel Sedin (21), Kevin Bieksa (15)
1 - 1 Tie
2nd Period
07:14
VAN
Henrik Sedin (7) Tip-in - ASST: Daniel Sedin (22), Pavol Demitra (10)
2 - 1 VAN
12:24
ATL
Ilya Kovalchuk (13) Snap shot - ASST: Jason Williams (11), Erik Christensen (9)
2 - 2 Tie
3rd Period
03:46
ATL
PPG - Vyacheslav Kozlov (16) Backhand shot - ASST: Todd White (23), Ilya Kovalchuk (26)
3 - 2 ATL
11:16
VAN
Daniel Sedin (19) Tip-in - ASST: Henrik Sedin (30), Pavol Demitra (11)
3 - 3 Tie
OT Period
NONE
Shootout
RNDATLVANTOTAL
1B. Little
P. Demitra
0 - 1
2V. Kozlov
K. Wellwood
1 - 1
3I. Kovalchuk
A. Burrows
1 - 1
4E. Christensen
D. Sedin
2 - 1
penalty summary
1st Period
00:04
VAN
Mike Brown  Fighting (maj) against  Eric Boulton
00:04
ATL
Eric Boulton  Fighting (maj) against  Mike Brown
08:50
ATL
Mathieu Schneider  Tripping against  Mason Raymond
09:35
ATL
Jim Slater  Slashing against  Kevin Bieksa
12:50
VAN
Mike Brown  Hi-sticking against  Ilya Kovalchuk
12:50
ATL
Ilya Kovalchuk  Roughing against  Mike Brown
16:00
VAN
Rob Davison  Elbowing against  Nathan Oystrick
2nd Period
09:25
ATL
Colby Armstrong  Tripping against  Jason Jaffray
10:04
VAN
Pavol Demitra  Interference against  Marty Reasoner
14:19
VAN
Mike Brown  Interference against  Ron Hainsey
3rd Period
02:16
VAN
Rob Davison  Holding against  Jim Slater
14:09
VAN
Kyle Wellwood  Too many men/ice - bench
OT Period
NONE
goalie stats
Jason LaBarbera
SA: 37TOI: 64:52
Saves: 34EV: 30 - 31
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 5
SV%: .919SH: 0 - 1
Kari Lehtonen
SA: 38TOI: 65:00
Saves: 35EV: 32 - 34
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 4
SV%: .921SH: 0 - 0