Originally created 11/16/02

Coyotes bash Thrashers



ATLANTA -- Tony Amonte had a goal and an assist as the Phoenix Coyotes used a pair of quick strikes to end a three-game losing streak with a 5-1 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Friday night.

Amonte and Mike Johnson scored 50 seconds apart early in the second, and Landon Wilson and Daniel Briere added goals in a 32-second span late in the period to end Atlanta's three-game winning streak.

It was the highest scoring game this season for Phoenix, which scored four goals only once. Nobody felt the pressure to succeed on the Coyotes more than Amonte, who has struggled since signing a $24 million, four-year deal in the offseason.

Amonte scored his fifth goal of the season on the power play on a nice drop pass from Briere to give Phoenix a 2-0 lead at 1:52 of the first.

Johnson then took a pass from Ladislav Nagy and bolted around a diving Pasi Nurminen to slide in his fifth goal.

Dany Heatley cut Atlanta's deficit to two when he banged home a rebound to the side of Brian Boucher at 7:54 of the second. It was his sixth of the season. Atlanta threatened to score again during a power play later in the period, but Boucher turned back three solid shots from close range.

Then Wilson and Briere all but ended it with their goals at 18:02 and 18:34.

Nurminen allowed five goals on 15 shots and was replaced by Milan Hnilicka to start the third period. Nurminen started seven straight games, leading the Thrashers to a 4-2-1 mark after they were 0-8-0-1 to start the season with Hnilicka as the No. 1. But Nurminen couldn't get the team its franchise-record fourth straight win.

After losses in Tampa Bay and Carolina, Phoenix salvaged the last game on this swing through the Southeast Division. The Coyotes (7-10-0-1) return home for three games.

Claude Lemieux opened the scoring with his third goal, a shorthanded tally at 17:47 of the first period. Daymond Langkow stole the puck from Atlanta defenseman Daniel Tjarnquist at the blue line and fed Lemieux perfectly on the ensuing 2-on-1.

Atlanta's ninth-ranked power play went 0-for-3, while Phoenix's 20th-ranked unit went 1-for-6. The Coyotes also held a 32-25 edge in shots.

Notes: Phoenix is 6-0 all-time against Atlanta. ... Phoenix RW Kelly Buchberger had an assist. He was the first captain in Thrashers history after being selected in the 1999 expansion draft. The only Thrashers left from opening night 1999 are Patrik Stefan, Per Svartvadet, Chris Tamer and Yannick Tremblay, who was a healthy scratch for the third straight game. ... Heatley, who extended his points streak (3-2-5) to four games, played in his 98th straight game, the second-longest streak in Thrashers history. Tamer played in 103 straight. ... Amonte played in his 428th straight game to extend the league's longest current streak.