Thrashers stop Capitals in shootout

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ATLANTA --- Eric Perrin and Slava Kozlov scored on Atlanta's first two shootout opportunities to help the Thrashers beat the Washington Capitals 3-2 on Wednesday night.

Kari Lehtonen stopped 39 shots before denying Washington's Alexander Semin and Boyd Gordon in the shootout. Lehtonen, who also had an assist, made a glove save on Gordon's shot to finish the win.

The Thrashers improved to 7-4 in shootouts and 13-4 in overtime.

They were only 1:21 away from winning 2-1 in regulation, but Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading 48th goal from the left circle to overtime.

Marian Hossa had a goal and an assist in possibly his final Atlanta home game.

Hossa and the Thrashers will not play another home game until Feb. 28, two days after the NHL's Feb. 26 trade deadline.

Thrashers general manager and interim coach Don Waddell said Wednesday he still hopes to re-sign Hossa, but he acknowledged a trade is an option.


In Newark, N.J., Brian Gionta swept a rebound past Martin Gerber 2:14 into overtime to lift New Jersey.

Gionta's drive was blocked in front, and Jamie Langenbrunner put a rebound off the right pad of Gerber. Gionta got the puck again and scored his 14th goal for the Devils, who won their second in a row at home after a 2-4 skid there.


In Buffalo, N.Y., Ryan Miller stopped 35 shots and Paul Gaustad scored the lone goal, lifting Buffalo.

Gaustad broke a scoreless tie 9 minutes into the third, converting Daniel Paille's pass from behind the net.

Miller registered his third shutout of the season, helping Buffalo improve to 8-0-2 in its past 10 games.


In Pittsburgh, Boston used first-period goals by Petteri Nokelainen and Vladimir Sobotka, as well as a smothering defense, for a win over Pittsburgh.

The Bruins were so good defensively for most of the game.

Goalie Tim Thomas saw only a single shot during one 15-minute stretch.


Don't expect NHL players to start wearing neck guards because of Richard Zednik's near-fatal accident Sunday. Like helmet cages, neck guards are something worn by junior and amateur players and generally not worn by pros.

Zednik was cut during the third period in Buffalo by a teammate's skate blade. He underwent emergency surgery after his carotid artery was nearly severed, and he is recovering. The accident happened 20 years after goaltender Clint Malarchuk had his jugular vein severed during a game. He also recovered.

"There's no foolproof way to protect any part of the body from injury," Dave Fischer, a spokesman for USA Hockey, said.

-- Associated Press

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