Originally created 11/30/03

Thrashers rally for win over Lightning

ATLANTA -- Vyacheslav Kozlov and J.P. Vigier scored third-period goals and the Atlanta Thrashers rallied to defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1 on Saturday night.

Atlanta snapped a two-game losing streak and took over first place in the Southeast Division. Tampa Bay is winless in four games (0-2-2) and hasn't won in its last five trips to Philips Arena dating to March of 2001.

Tampa Bay's Dan Boyle opened the scoring at 11:23 of the first, scoring his second of the season on a soft, low shot that eluded Pasi Nurminen on the stick side. After going 18 games without a goal, Boyle has two in as many games.

Kozlov made it 1-all at 4:48 of the third with a blistering slap shot that beat John Grahame to the far post. It was Kozlov's eighth of the season.

Vigier scored the go-ahead goal at 15:03 with a deflection from in front of the net, his fourth of the season and the first game-winner of his career.

The Thrashers have played uncharacteristically undisciplined under Bob Hartley over the past week, racking up 89 penalty minutes in their past three games and putting opponents on the power play 24 times. It happened again early in the game Saturday, when Bill Lindsay was called for boarding and Andy Sutton for cross-checking to put Tampa Bay on a 5-on-3 power play for 1:18.

Atlanta's sixth-ranked penalty kill got through the 5-on-3, but only because Nurminen stoned Brad Richards on a point-blank shot.

The chippy play returned in the second period after an unpenalized high stick gave Thrashers star Ilya Kovalchuk a bloody mouth. That prompted a fight between Tampa's Andre Roy and Atlanta's Francis Lessard on the next faceoff.

A few minutes later, Kozlov was called for slashing Grahame, who skated to the blue line and went chest-to-chest with Kozlov as he neared the penalty box.

In the third period, Atlanta defenseman Garnet Exelby went unpenalized after sending Tim Taylor face first into the boards.

Atlanta also was without top center Marc Savard, who was serving a one-game suspension for a match penalty he received Thursday when he bit the glove of Darcy Tucker.

Notes: Tampa has held its opponents to two or fewer goals in six consecutive games, but is winless in four. ... With an assist, Kovalchuk has 10 points in his last seven games. ... Atlanta was without D Ivan Majesky (sprained knee), who missed a game due to injury for the first time in his career. D Shawn Heins was recalled from AHL Chicago, where he led the Wolves with 36 PIMs in 18 games. ... Tampa Bay is the only team in the NHL to not lose a man-game due to injury this season. ... Atlanta leads the Eastern Conference with 71 goals. ... Tampa is just 1-7-3 at Philips Arena. ... Tampa is 10-2-4-1 when allowing two goals or less, and is 10-1-2-0 when scoring first.


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