Thrashers, Islanders tie at 2-2

Posted: Wednesday, October 15, 2003

ATLANTA Marc Savard scored early in the third period and the Atlanta Thrashers twice came back from one-goal deficits to tie the New York Islanders 2-2 Tuesday night.

Atlanta (2-0-1) still has the best start in franchise history, an amazing beginning following a tragic preseason. Dan Snyder died from injuries sustained in a car wreck that also injured All-Star teammate Dany Heatley, who was driving and subsequently charged with vehicular homicide.

Frantisek Kaberle had a great chance to give Atlanta its third straight victory, skating in alone on Rick DiPietro. But Kaberle, a defenseman, didn't get enough on the shot, and DiPietro slapped it away.

Eric Cairns gave the Islanders a 2-1 lead off an assist from Sven Butenschon midway through the second period.

Mark Parrish scored 35 seconds into the first period and Patrik Stefan tied it for Atlanta early in the second.

Audette, Andreas Dackell and Stephane Quintal also scored for Montreal, which has won two straight while outscoring opponents 9-1 since a season-opening 5-2 loss in Ottawa on Thursday.

Fresh from his 18th career shutout Saturday in Toronto, Jose Theodore stopped 16 shots for the Canadiens, who were founded in 1909 eight years before the NHL was formed. They are 53-19-15 in home openers since the NHL began in 1917.

Robert Lang scored for Washington, which played without suspended forward Mike Grier.

Alexander Semin assisted on Lang's goal in his NHL debut as he joined fellow 19-year-old players Boyd Gordon and Steve Eminger in Washington's lineup.

The Capitals are 0-2-1 since a 6-1 victory over the New York Islanders in their opener Thursday.

McLennan made 19 saves to extend his shutout streak to over 97 minute and Blair Betts scored midway through the second period as the Flames beat the Edmonton Oilers 1-0 Tuesday night.

''Shutouts are a luxury and a product of the whole team, they really are,'' McLennan said. ''Tonight wasn't a situation where I stopped 50 and we won 1-0, it was a situation where there were 19 shots and a couple good chances but we limited the chances and played really solid as a team.''

McLennan made his first start of the season in place of Roman Turek, who was still feeling the effects after being accidentally kneed in the head by San Jose's Alyn McCauley on Saturday.

McLennan stopped all nine shots he faced in 37 minutes after relieving Turek on Saturday and picked up right where he left off. The shutout was his first since March 21, 2001, when he blanked Nashville while with Minnesota.

The Oilers managed just 10 shots through the first 40 minutes but they increased the pressure on McLennan in the third period.

''The last five minutes, you're just trying to hang on because you know if they get one, bottom line, it's a different game,'' McLennan said.

After a sharp pad stop early in the period off a hard one-timer from Ethan Moreau, McLennan held his ground at the near post to keep the puck out as Oilers winger Georges Laraque skated in front and tried to jam the puck in.

Betts scored at 10:06 with one second left on a Flames power play.

Defenseman Andrew Ference slid a short pass to the rookie cutting across the high slot and his wrist shot through a crowd in front trickled in off the pad of Tommy Salo.

Edmonton was shut out for the second straight game, the first time that's happened since losses to Montreal and Winnipeg on Nov. 18 and Nov. 23, 1991. The Oilers were shut out only four times last season.

''It's a concern, obviously,'' Oilers coach Craig MacTavish said. ''It's pretty plain that you have to score goals to win games and it's disappointing that out of the last six periods, offensively we've had maybe one decent period.''

The Flames are 2-1 despite no production from their top line. Neither Jarome Iginla, Craig Conroy or Dean McAmmond have registered a point yet.

Calgary's Stephane Yelle sustained a head injury in the first period in a collision along the boards with Edmonton defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron and didn't return.

Chris Clark and Iginla each hit the goalpost in the first period.

Notes: McLennan's two previous shutouts were both scoreless ties. His last shutout victory was Jan. 29, 2000, while he and Turek were St. Louis' goalie tandem. McLennan made 21 saves to blank Colorado. ... Brent Krahn, Calgary's first round pick in the 2000 draft, was McLennan's backup Tuesday. ... The game marked the 20th anniversary of the Olympic Saddledome. The Oilers were also the opposition in the first game on Oct. 15, 1983.

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