Atlanta ruins Fukufuji's first start

Associated Press
Los Angeles goalie Yutaka Fukufuji, the first Japanese-born player in the NHL, gave up three goals and was pulled early in the second period of a 6-2 loss to Atlanta.

ATLANTA - Marian Hossa picked up his second hat trick of the season and the Atlanta Thrashers defeated Los Angeles 6-2 on Tuesday night, ruining the first start for Kings goalie Yutaka Fukufuji.


Fukufuji, the first Japanese-born player in the NHL, was lifted less than two minutes into the second period after Jim Slater's deflection gave the Thrashers a 3-1 lead. He stopped only six of nine shots.

Los Angeles closed within 3-2 when Tom Kostopoulos scored just over two minutes into the third period.

But Hossa, who will represent the Thrashers at the All-Star Game next week, found the net two more times to turn it into a runaway. He has 29 goals for the season.

Shane Hnidy scored first for Atlanta, just 19 seconds after Alexander Frolov put the Kings ahead at 1:31 of the opening period. Glen Metropolit had the other goal for the Thrashers.

Kari Lehtonen turned aside 28 shots for first-place Atlanta.


In East Rutherford, N.J., Martin Brodeur stopped 26 shots for his NHL-best eighth shutout of the season and New Jersey opened a 10-point lead in the Atlantic Division with its win.

Defenseman Brad Lukowich scored in the first period, ending a 20-game goal drought with his second of the season. The surging Devils won for the ninth time in 11 games (9-1-1) and moved 10 points in front of the second-place Rangers.

Brodeur wasn't tested much in his 88th career shutout.


In Chicago, Jason Chimera scored at 2:31 of overtime as Columbus snapped a four-game losing streak.

Chimera beat Nikolai Khabibulin between the legs with a shot from the right circle to complete a 2-on-1 break.

Sergei Fedorov, Rostislav Klesla, Joe Motzko and Fredrik Modin scored in regulation for the Blue Jackets, who trailed 3-1 in the second period but rallied to take a 4-3 lead late in regulation.

Bryan Smolinski had two goals for Chicago.


In Pittsburgh, Sidney Crosby and Erik Christensen each scored two goals to lead the Penguins.

Christensen added an assist, and Michel Ouellet had a goal and an assist for Pittsburgh, who passed the Islanders and moved into third place in the Atlantic Division with their second consecutive win.

Richard Park and Arron Asham scored for New York.


In Ottawa, Mike Comrie scored twice and Daniel Alfredsson had a short-handed goal and an assist as the Senators extended their winning streak to a season-high five games.

Comrie, acquired in a Jan. 3 trade with Phoenix, scored a power-play goal 19:33 into the first. He added his second of the game - his fourth in four games - midway through the second to increase Ottawa's lead to three.

Ray Emery made 28 saves and Andrej Meszaros and Peter Schaefer also scored for Ottawa, which had three four-game winning streaks prior to its current run.


In Montreal, Roberto Luongo made 30 saves to post his third shutout of the season and Vancouver won its fifth consecutive road game.

Josh Green, Lukas Krajicek, Ryan Kesler and Jan Bulis scored for the surging Canucks, who have won nine of 10 to move past Calgary into first place in the Northwest Division.

Cristobal Huet made 20 saves for the Canadiens,



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