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Kovalchuk and Kozlov score in shootout for Thrashers, hand Sabres first loss

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ATLANTA - Ilya Kovalchuk and Slava Kozlov scored shootout goals for the Atlanta Thrashers, who beat Buffalo 3-2 on Saturday night and handed the Sabres their first loss of the season.

Kovalchuk, Atlanta's second shooter in the tiebreaker, beat goalie Patrick Lalime for the first goal. Buffalo tied it with its second skater, Ales Kotalik, who scored on Kari Lehtonen.

Kozlov gave the Thrashers the lead, and they finished off the victory when Buffalo leading scorer Thomas Vanek shot wide.

The Thrashers snapped a three-game losing streak, and the Sabres fell to 4-0-1.

Buffalo's Jason Pominville scored with 3:08 remaining in the third period to tie it at 2, knocking in his own rebound.

Pominville's second of the season came after his initial shot bounced high off Lehtonen's glove and back to him.

The Thrashers got off to a quick 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Kovalchuk and Bryan Little.

Kovalchuk, a 52-goal scorer last season, netted his second of the season after only 1:35 elapsed. He scored with a hard shot over Lalime's left shoulder.

Little, who leads the Thrashers with four goals, made it 2-0 at 17:12 with another shot over Lalime's left shoulder from about 10 feet out. Todd White assisted on both goals.

Vanek got the Sabres within 2-1 during a two-man advantage with three minutes left in the second period.

Vanek is off to the quickest start of his career, scoring seven goals in Buffalo's first five games. Kotalik and Pominville earned assists.

Notes: The Thrashers scratched D Nathan Oystrick and LW Brett Sterling. Buffalo's scratches were C Tim Connolly, D Nathan Paetsch and C Jochen Hecht. ... The Thrashers outshot the Sabres 19-6 in the opening period. ... Buffalo came into the game 18-for-18 on penalty killing and made it 24-for-24 with six stops against Atlanta. The Thrashers, meanwhile, have gone 21 straight power plays without a goal.

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