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Kovalchuk, Thrashers close season with 6-2 win over Lightning

NHL.com @NHL

ATLANTA - Ilya Kovalchuk scored his 43rd goal, and the Atlanta Thrashers snapped a three-game skid with a 6-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night in final game of the season for both teams.

Colby Armstrong scored twice, Eric Perrin, Ron Hainsey and Colin Stuart added goals, and Kari Lehtonen made 24 saves.

Tampa Bay rookie Steven Stamkos, the No. 1 overall draft pick, scored his 23rd goal early in the third period, and Matt Pettinger added a goal. The Lightning closed the season with a nine-game winless streak, dropping the last four in regulation.

The Thrashers won 12 of their final 18 game, including nine of 13 at home, under first-year coach John Anderson. Lightning interim coach Rick Tocchet, who took charge after Barry Melrose was fired after just 16 games, went 19-33-14.

Kovalchuk gave Atlanta a 3-1 lead midway through the second period, scoring his 32nd goal in his last 42 games.

Atlanta's Mike McKenna and Karri Ramo combined to make 29 saves.

Notes: Winning the season series 4-1-1, the Thrashers improved to 27-19-10 against Tampa Bay, including 17-6-5 at Philips Arena. . . . The Lighting were 1-14-1 when allowing five or more goals. . . . Todd White had his 51st assist, and Slava Kozlov his 50 for Atlanta.

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