Hossa Lifts Thrashers Over Maple Leafs

Friday, December 1st 2006, 5:43 am
By: News On 6

This win meant a little more than most to Marian Hossa and the Atlanta Thrashers. They were tired of getting trounced by Toronto. Hossa had three goals and an assist to take over the NHL scoring lead and Kari Lehtonen stopped 36 shots, sending Atlanta to a 5-0 victory Thursday night for its first win over the Maple Leafs in more than three years.

``I think we sent them a message that we're not going to accept it anymore,'' said Slava Kozlov, who savored his four assists after playing in eight straight losses to Toronto. ``We beat them in our building and next week we get a chance to beat them in their building.''

It was Atlanta's first win against the Maple Leafs since a 3-2 overtime victory at Toronto on Oct. 27, 2003. The Maple Leafs outscored the Thrashers 37-9 in their eight consecutive wins, including a 4-2 victory at home Oct. 30.

Scott Mellanby and Brad Larsen also scored for the Thrashers, who handed Toronto its first shutout loss of the season.

Hossa also ended some personal frustration against the Maple Leafs with his first hat trick for Atlanta. He leads the NHL with 20 goals, but had only one goal and one assist in his previous nine games against Toronto _ a stretch that began before his 2005 trade from Ottawa to Atlanta.

``I'm just happy the team won,'' Hossa said.

In other NHL games, it was: Carolina 4, Montreal 2; Anaheim 2, Vancouver 1; Washington 4, Dallas 3; Boston 4, Tampa Bay 3 in a shootout; Ottawa 6, Florida 0; Philadelphia 3, the New York Islanders 2; Nashville 5, St. Louis 4; Colorado 7, Edmonton 3; and Phoenix 7, Los Angeles 4.

Hossa responded to fans chanting his name by completing his hat trick with about 3 minutes left. He passed Jaromir Jagr of the New York Rangers for the league scoring lead with 39 points. Hossa also leads the league with 20 power-play points.

``He's a fantastic player. He's awesome,'' Toronto's Jeff O'Neill said. ``Give him time and space and he will hurt you.''

Lehtonen earned his fourth shutout this season and added to his team record with seven career shutouts, including two straight in home wins. He blanked Florida 1-0 on Saturday.

Toronto lost its third straight game, matching its longest skid of the season.

``We're going to have some ugly nights, and this was one of them,'' Maple Leafs coach Paul Maurice said.

Hurricanes 4, Canadiens 2

Justin Williams and Eric Belanger scored less than a minute apart in the third period to lead host Carolina past Montreal. Erik Cole added a pair of goals off his own rebounds for the Hurricanes, who finished with a season-high 48 shots. Cam Ward made 25 saves.

Ducks 2, Canucks 1

At Vancouver, British Columbia, Ryan Getzlaf scored his second consecutive game-winning goal on a two-man advantage with 7:34 left. Andy McDonald also scored and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 23 saves as Anaheim won its fourth straight to improve to an NHL-best 19-2-6.

Capitals 4, Stars 3

At Washington, Olaf Kolzig made 35 saves and withstood a third-period rally to finally defeat the only NHL franchise he had never beaten. The Capitals won their second straight after six losses.

Kolzig, who has 262 career wins, was 0-9-1 against the Minnesota/Dallas franchise before handing the Stars their season-high third consecutive loss. Dallas had beaten the Capitals five straight.

Bruins 4, Lightning 3, SO

Tim Thomas stopped all seven Tampa Bay shots in the shootout and rookie Phil Kessel scored on the seventh attempt by host Boston.

Brad Boyes, P.J. Axelsson and Glen Murray scored for the Bruins, who beat Tampa Bay for the third time this season and have won eight of 10 overall. Eric Perrin, Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis scored for the Lightning, who have won just twice in their last 23 games in Boston.

Senators 6, Panthers 0

Dany Heatley had two goals and an assist and Ray Emery made 31 saves for host Ottawa's first shutout this season. The Senators, who moved one game over .500, have won six of seven since a 7-11-1 start.

Flyers 3, Islanders 2

Rookie defenseman Alexandre Picard had his first two NHL assists and visiting Philadelphia (8-15-3) got three special teams goals. Simon Gagne scored short-handed and Antero Niittymaki made 39 saves.

Predators 5, Blues 4

Jordin Tootoo's first goal of the season snapped a tie early in the third period, helping visiting Nashville win its fourth straight.

Scott Hartnell scored his fourth goal in three games and added an assist for the Central Division leaders, who chased goalie Manny Legace and improved to 8-0-1 against the Blues the past two seasons. Paul Kariya added his sixth goal, David Legwand got his seventh and Alexander Radulov also scored.

The game drew an announced attendance of 5,410, the fifth-lowest in Blues history, held down by daylong snow and sleet that hampered traffic.

Coyotes 7, Kings 4

At Glendale, Ariz., Ladislav Nagy returned from a one-game benching to score a goal and add three assists for Phoenix. Mike Zigomanis had two goals and an assist for the Coyotes, who have won three of four. Los Angeles goalie Dan Cloutier was pulled after allowing three goals on five shots in less than 10 minutes.

Avalanche 7, Oilers 3

Tyler Arnason had two goals and an assist for visiting Colorado.

Marek Svatos also scored twice and Ken Klee had three assists for the Avalanche, who climbed over .500 and moved out of last place in the Northwest Division _ just two points behind the first-place Oilers.