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Little scores winner in shootout, Thrashers beat Rangers 2-1 to end nine-game skid @NHLdotcom

ATLANTA - Bryan Little scored in the fifth round of a shootout to spoil Chad Johnson's first NHL start and help the Thrashers snap a nine-game losing streak, 2-1 over the New York Rangers on Thursday night.

The Thrashers avoided their first 10-game skid since their inaugural season 10 years ago.

Johan Hedberg had 29 saves and gave up only Marian Gaborik's goal in the extended shootout. Hedberg turned aside Eric Christensen, Ryan Callahan and Ales Kotalik before rookie defenceman Michael Del Zotto's shot wide to end the shootout.

Johnson, subbing for workhorse starter Henrik Lundqvist, stopped 31 shots. He allowed Jim Slater's third-period goal that forced overtime. He also gave up a goal to Slava Kozlov in the shootout.

Enver Lisin had given the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the second.

Johnson, 23, stopped 17 of 20 shots in his NHL debut in relief of Lundqvist against Philadelphia on Dec. 30. The start against Atlanta was his second appearance.

Johnson earned an assist on Lisin's goal.

Lundqvist made his 17th straight start on Wednesday at home, when he beat the Dallas Stars 5-2. New York has recorded a point in 10 of 11 games (7-1-3).

The Thrashers have played 19 games since their last win in regulation, a victory over Florida on Nov. 30.

New York's Sean Avery didn't take long to find the penalty box. Avery and Atlanta's Tobias Enstrom drew minors for roughing only 1:57 into the game.

Avery tied a career high with four points on Wednesday in his first game against the Stars, who dumped him last season.

NOTES: The Thrashers lost 10 straight from Feb. 25-March 16, 2000. ... Thrashers G Kari Lehtonen, recovering from two back operations, has been pain-free while beginning individual workouts on the ice, according to general manager Don Waddell. Waddell said a rehab stint with AHL Chicago hasn't been ruled out when Lehtonen is ready for competition, perhaps in a few weeks. ... The Thrashers, returning from an 0-5-2 road trip, played their first home game since Dec. 21. ... Lundqvist has allowed two goals or fewer in 13 of his past 16 games.

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