ATLANTA (AP) -- Pasi Nurminen or Byron Dafoe. It doesn't really matter who is
in goal for the Atlanta Thrashers. They just keep winning.
Slava Kozlov scored for the fifth straight game, tying a franchise record,
and the Thrashers won their fourth in a row by beating the Pittsburgh Penguins
6-3 Friday night.
Dafoe started for the second consecutive game in place of Nurminen, the
first time that's happened this season, and he won his third straight. He made
23 saves and gave up only one even-strength goal.
Nurminen started 25 of the previous 30 games.
"Right now, we have two goalies that are very solid," Atlanta coach Bob
Hartley said. "It's not luck that we're winning these games. We're very
fortunate that we have two guys that are playing very well."
Marc Savard added a goal and two assists, and Shawn McEachern also scored
for Atlanta, which increased its lead in the Southeast Division to five points
over Tampa Bay.
Serge Aubin scored an empty-net goal with 2:24 left to seal it.
"Everybody's chipping in," Savard said. "We had a little lull there and
we talked about getting back with the program. Things are rolling right now.
Everyone's confident and it's showing in our play."
Dick Tarnstrom had a goal and an assist for the Penguins, who were without
goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. The 19-year-old rookie was on loan to Canada's team
for the World Junior championship.
Sebastien Caron started in Fleury's place, but was pulled in favor of
Jean-Sebastien Aubin in the second period after Pittsburgh closed to 4-3 on a
goal by Patrick Boileau.
Jean-Sebastien Aubin was called up from Wilkes-Barre-Scranton of the AHL on
"I have to deal with it, and that's part of the game," Caron said. "I was
disappointed, but you've got to give them credit. When they score four goals
like that, you've got to deal with it and get ready for the next time."
The Thrashers normally come from behind -- they've earned at least a point
eight times after rallying from two-goal deficits -- but they never trailed
after Kozlov scored at 4:36 of the first.
They eventually took two-goal leads four times, but never truly gained
control until Serge Aubin made it 6-3.
"Even though we won that game by three goals, it was closer than the score
would indicate," Hartley said.
After Boileau beat Dafoe with a one-timer from the blue line, Savard gave
Atlanta a 5-3 lead early in the third period. McEachern and Jeff Cowan fought
for the puck in front of the Pittsburgh net, occupying the defense just enough
to allow Savard to snare it.
He whirled and beat Jean-Sebastien Aubin, and the Thrashers hung on from
"They know how to work the puck," Pittsburgh coach Eddie Olczyk said.
"They've got guys that want to pay the price in front of the net like Kozlov