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Thrashers 8, Senators 3

NHL.com @NHL

ATLANTA (AP) - Dany Heatley expected a warm reception from Atlanta fans in his first game against his former team. He didn't get it.

With the fans booing Heatley's every move, Vyacheslav Kozlov had three goals and an assist and Marian Hossa - acquired from Ottawa for Heatley in late August - added two goals and an assist Monday in the Thrashers' 8-3 victory over the Senators.

"I wasn't putting too much emphasis on it (the booing). I think that you have to put it behind you," said Heatley, who scored a goal with 6:37 remaining - his eighth straight game with a point and 26th goal of the season.

Heatley, the NHL's rookie of the year in 2001-02 with the Thrashers, requested the trade to get away from the constant reminders of his 2003 Atlanta car wreck that killed Thrashers teammate Dan Snyder.

He was greeted by some cheers mixed with boos when he came out for the pregame warmups and when the starting lineups were announced the boos were somewhat louder than the cheers from the Philips Arena crowd. When play began, Heatley drew boos each time he touched the puck, with the loudest coming when he scored.

"At least they were making some noise. That didn't bother me," he said.

"A lot of people were saying some really good things and I appreciate that. I think that most of the time they treated me great and now if they want to boo, that's fine. But, it's just another game, one that we want back."

Heatley, also injured in the car accident, was sentenced to three years of probation on Feb. 4, 2004, after pleading guilty to second-degree vehicular homicide and three lesser charges. He was left with a broken jaw and a serious knee injury that forced him to miss the first 51 games of the 2003-04 season.

"It was a big game for him," Ottawa goalie Ray Emery said. "It was no big deal for us, but for him it was. Maybe for him it's good to get it behind him."

Hossa didn't expect the reception Heatley received.

"I was surprised," he said. "Hopefully when I return to Ottawa to play they won't."

He downplayed the hyped Heatley-Hossa showdown.

"I just tried to stay focused, Hossa said. "Everybody knows how I play. It was just a great feeling to beat my former team."

Ilya Kovalchuk added a goal and three assists to help Atlanta end Ottawa's four-game winning streak. It was the worst loss of the season for the Senators, the highest-scoring team in the NHL. Ottawa was 0-for-6 on the power play.

The Thrashers took a 3-0 lead in the first period. Kovalchuk scored his 25th goal, Kozlov added a goal and Hossa had a short-handed goal.

Atlanta made it 6-2 after two periods, getting goals from Hossa - his 21st and fourth in two games - and two from Kozlov, his 12th and 13th, in handing Emery only his second loss (8-2-1). Emery, who made only 19 saves, got the start when Dominik Hasek hurt his back during warmups.

Greg de Vries, also part of the Heatley trade, scored his sixth goal with just over 8 minutes left and Serge Aubin scored his fifth a minute later for an 8-2 lead.

Chris Neil and Chris Kelly also scored for Ottawa.

The Thrashers are over .500 (18-17-6) for the first time since they were 2-1.

Notes: The Thrashers recalled F Karl Stewart from Chicago of the AHL on Monday. ... Atlanta has earned a point in 11 of its last 12 games. ... Heatley started the season with an Ottawa-record 22-game points streak. He has three game-winning goals and was selected to Canada's Olympic team. ... Ottawa gave up five goals twice this season.

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