VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) _ Pasi Nurminen is a lot better better
goalie than fighter.
Nurminen, who fought Edmonton goalie Ty Conklin in Atlanta's last game, made
13 of his 30 saves in the first period to help the Thrashers end a 10-game
winless skid with a 4-1 victory over Vancouver on Friday night.
``Pasi bailed us out,'' said Dany Heatley, who had a goal and an assist for
Nurminen even had a chance to fight again after Canucks goalie Dan Cloutier
attacked Ronald Petrovicky with 35 seconds left.
``I thought about it for a second, but yesterday our coach said that I'm a
better goalie than a fighter,'' said Nurminen, still sporting welts above and
below his left eye from the Wednesday night tilt.
Vancouver outshot Atlanta 13-1 in the first period, but couldn't solve
Nurminen. He made five stellar stops on an early power play, had a sprawling
stick save on Jarkko Ruutu's penalty shot six minutes in, got a piece of Mike
Keane's partial breakaway, and stuffed Henrik and Daniel Sedin in close.
Ruutu, who was given a penalty shot after Ilya Kovalchuk hauled him down on
a short-handed breakaway, had the best chance to score. He had Nurminen down
after a deke to his forehand, but couldn't lift the puck over the tip of
Nurminen's outstretched stick.
``It's my job to keep our team in the game,'' said Nurminen, who also
assisted on Heatley s goal.
Petrovicky, Marc Savard and Shawn McEachern also scored for the Thrashers,
who had given up 29 goals during six straight losses coming into the game.
``Guys just got sick of losing,'' Petrovicky said. ``We forechecked hard and
threw our body around and guys played hard for 60 minutes.''
Daniel Sedin scored for the Canucks, who have dropped their first two games
since the All-Star break to fall four points behind Colorado in the race for
first in the Northwest Division.
``I think we're all embarrassed,'' Canucks captain Markus Naslund said. ``We
were undisciplined. We lost our focus. That's probably the biggest difference.
We didn't play our game and we let ourselves get frustrated.''
Heatley, playing his eighth game since returning from injuries sustained
during the Sept. 29 car crash that killed teammate and friend Dan Snyder, gave
the Thrashers a 2-0 lead 3:59 into the second period with a wrist shot over
Cloutier's glove. The goal was Heatley's second since returning to the lineup
``I felt very good tonight,'' said Heatley, who broke his jaw and tore knee
ligaments in the accident.
Heatley added an assist on McEachern's power play goal in the third, giving
him four points since returning.
``It's starting to come together,'' Heatley said. ``All I can say is it's
moving in the right direction and it feels pretty good.''