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game recap

Thrashers 6, Senators 1

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:51 AM

Associated Press

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Thrashers 6, Senators 1
Ottawa Senators 1, Atlanta Thrashers 6

ATLANTA (AP) -Thrashers coach John Anderson believes he got his players' attention with a difficult, unannounced practice two days ago.

"As a coaching staff, it helps us teach because they were doing the things that we were asking," Anderson said. "When you get a few bounces here and there, that's what creates confidence."

Ilya Kovalchuk had a goal and two assists, and Atlanta beat Ottawa 6-1 Tuesday night for its first regulation victory in 21 games.

The Thrashers, who had lost 11 of their previous 12, were coming off an embarrassing 8-1 home loss to Southeast Division rival Washington on Saturday.

Ottawa lost its fifth straight.

Atlanta goaltender Ondrej Pavelec made 30 saves and the Thrashers held Ottawa to 0 for 2 on power plays. The Senators' NHL-worst power play percentage dipped to 14.0.

"It was special for me," Pavelec said. "It was a big game. We need the points."

Already without captain Daniel Alfredsson, who's recovering from a separated shoulder, the Senators played their second straight game without defenseman Filip Kuba (upper body) and third straight without Milan Michalek (upper body). Centers Jason Spezza (knee) and Jesse Winchester (knee) are out indefinitely.

"When you give a team a two-goal lead in the first period, it's tough to dig yourself out of it," Senators center Chris Kelly. "They kept rolling. We're in a slump, a tough spot right now."

The Thrashers scored the go-ahead goal on defenseman Pavel Kubina's slap shot 17:08 into the first, following Peter Regin's tying goal at the 7:29 mark of the first period.

Kovalchuk made it 3-1 with a wrister at 18:31 that gave him 17 points in his last 20 games.

Eric Boulton, whose tip-in made it 1-0 on the power play 3:36 into the first, credits Anderson with canceling the players' off day Sunday and scheduling a rigorous workout.

For the first time since Nov. 30, when the Thrashers beat Florida 4-3 for their most recent regulation victory, Boulton thought the team played intensely for 60 minutes.

"We were pressing," Boulton said. "We got a couple of quick goals early but we kept pressing and got the win."

Todd White scored his first goal in 35 games to give the Thrashers a 4-1 lead early in the second.

Tobias Enstrom put the Thrashers up 5-1 with a wrister from the left circle 9:43 into the second. Kovalchuk, after controlling his own rebound, passed from behind the net for Enstrom's fourth goal.

"We had two or three scoring chances from point blank on breakaways," Ottawa coach Cory Clouston said. "Obviously, we've got to score those opportunities, and when they get their chances, we've got to make the save."

Bryan Little made it 6-1 early in the third, scoring on a breakaway for his sixth goal.

Thrashers defenseman Chris Thorburn thinks his team set the tone in practice.

"We worked hard in practice on battling hard and trying to get some crease goals," Thorburn said. "It paid off for us tonight."

NOTES: Atlanta defenseman Christoph Schubert's night ended midway through the first with a game misconduct and a major boarding penalty against Ottawa F Jonathan Cheechoo. ... The Thrashers last scored three first-period goals on Dec. 19, but lost 5-4 despite chasing New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur before the second. ... White has just four goals through 44 games. He played a full 82-game schedule last year and finished with 22.

scoring summary
1st Period
03:36
ATL
PPG - Eric Boulton (2) Tip-in - ASST: Vyacheslav Kozlov (12), Todd White (14)
1 - 0 ATL
12:01
OTT
Peter Regin (6) Wrist shot - ASST: Chris Neil (5), Jarkko Ruutu (9)
1 - 1 Tie
17:08
ATL
Pavel Kubina (5) Slapshot - ASST: Ron Hainsey (9), Ilya Kovalchuk (23)
2 - 1 ATL
18:31
ATL
Ilya Kovalchuk (26) Wrist shot - ASST: Chris Thorburn (5), Rich Peverley (23)
3 - 1 ATL
2nd Period
02:02
ATL
Todd White (4) Snap shot - ASST: Vyacheslav Kozlov (13)
4 - 1 ATL
09:43
ATL
Tobias Enstrom (4) Wrist shot - ASST: Ilya Kovalchuk (24), Bryan Little (12)
5 - 1 ATL
3rd Period
00:14
ATL
Bryan Little (6) Slapshot - ASST: Jim Slater (1), Ondrej Pavelec (1)
6 - 1 ATL
penalty summary
1st Period
01:47
OTT
Chris Neil  Hooking against  Ilya Kovalchuk
04:46
OTT
Shean Donovan  Fighting (maj) against  Boris Valabik
04:46
ATL
Boris Valabik  Fighting (maj) against  Shean Donovan
05:01
ATL
Christoph Schubert  Boarding (maj) against  Jonathan Cheechoo
05:01
ATL
Christoph Schubert  Game misconduct against  Jonathan Cheechoo
08:19
OTT
Alex Kovalev  Slashing against  Rich Peverley
09:21
OTT
Anton Volchenkov  Holding against  Ilya Kovalchuk
2nd Period
04:33
ATL
Eric Boulton  Fighting (maj) against  Chris Neil
04:33
OTT
Chris Neil  Fighting (maj) against  Eric Boulton
06:32
ATL
Colby Armstrong  Tripping against  Mike Fisher
15:00
ATL
Vyacheslav Kozlov  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Jarkko Ruutu
15:00
OTT
Jarkko Ruutu  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Vyacheslav Kozlov
3rd Period
10:43
OTT
Shean Donovan  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Jim Slater
14:34
ATL
Eric Boulton  Misconduct (10 min) against  Chris Neil
14:34
OTT
Chris Neil  Misconduct (10 min) against  Eric Boulton
16:45
OTT
Shean Donovan  Hi-sticking against  Marty Reasoner
goalie stats
Brian Elliott
SA: 14TOI: 40:00
Saves: 11EV: 10 - 13
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 1
SV%: .786SH: 0 - 0
Pascal Leclaire
SA: 14TOI: 20:00
Saves: 11EV: 10 - 12
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 2
SV%: .786SH: 0 - 0
Ondrej Pavelec
SA: 31TOI: 59:53
Saves: 30EV: 26 - 27
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 3
SV%: .968SH: 1 - 1