Thrashers stretch unbeaten streak to five games

Posted: Sunday, October 19, 2003

ATLANTA Ilya Kovalchuk scored a hat trick and the Atlanta Thrashers stretched their unbeaten streak to a franchise-record five games, routing the Chicago Blackhawks 7-2 Saturday night.

The Thrashers have won three games and tied two others to begin a season that was overshadowed by tragedy. Less than two weeks ago, center Dan Snyder died from injuries sustained in a high-speed car wreck.

All-Star teammate Dany Heatley, who was driving, tore up a knee and faces felony criminal charges.

Having dedicated the season to both players, the Thrashers are playing the most inspired hockey of their five-year existence. They built a 3-0 lead before the game was 11 minutes old and knocked out Blackhawks goalie Jocelyn Thibault in the second period.

Maple Leafs 1, Canadiens 0

MONTREAL Ed Belfour earned his 66th career shutout and Ric Jackman scored a power-play goal in the first period.

Belfour, who allowed a tying goal with two seconds left in regulation against New Jersey on Thursday, stopped 15 shots including back-to-back saves off shots by Michael Ryder and Andreas Dackell midway through the third as Toronto got its first win of the season.

Belfour tied Patrick Roy for 11th place on the career shutout list and leads all active goalies.

Lightning 3, Devils 2

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Martin St. Louis took advantage of a late New Jersey turnover and scored with 5:40 to play keep Tampa Bay undefeated.

Vincent Lecavalier and Martin Cibak also scored and Nikolai Khabibulin made 29 saves as the Lightning won their third straight and sent the Stanley Cup champions (1-1-2) to their first loss of the season.

Patrik Elias and rookie Paul Martin scored for New Jersey in the first game between the teams since last year's Eastern Conference semifinals which the Devils won in five games.

Blues 4, Capitals 1

ST. LOUIS The St. Louis Blues revived a struggling power play without injured captain Al MacInnis, scoring three times with the man advantage in their home opener.

Keith Tkachuk and Pavol Demitra each had a goal and an assist and Doug Weight had three assists for the Blues. St. Louis had been 3-for-17 on the power play in its first three games, but scored on three of its first five opportunities against the Capitals and was 3-for-8 overall.

MacInnis, the team captain, could miss the entire season after undergoing surgery for a torn retina in his left eye on Friday.

Hurricanes 2, Rangers 2

NEW YORK Erik Cole and Craig Adams each had a goal and an assist as Carolina and New York each played to a second consecutive tie.

The Hurricanes had more than a minute of power-play time in overtime, but New York had a chance late in the extra period when Bobby Holik's shot was gloved by Carolina goaltender Kevin Weekes, touching off a tussle between New York's Jamie Lundmark and Carolina's Danny Markov. Neither team managed another shot after that.

Islanders 2, Panthers 1

UNIONDALE, N.Y. Oleg Kvasha's power-play goal 4:10 into the third period gave New York a win in its home opener.

Mariusz Czerkawski added a goal and assist for the Islanders, who won for the first time at home since March 1. Rick DiPietro turned aside 20 shots for his second victory.

Viktor Kozlov scored Florida's goal and Luongo had 44 saves, but the Panthers lost their second straight.

Penguins 4, Red Wings 3

PITTSBURGH Rico Fata scored his second goal of the game with just over eight minutes left in the third period as Pittsburgh rallied from a two-goal deficit.

Fata, who also assisted on Ramzi Abid's power-play goal in the first period, scored his first short-handed goal in the second and had the first three-point game of his NHL career.

Martin Straka's goal off a pass from Konstantin Koltsov, 11 seconds into the third period, had tied the game at 3-all.

Predators 3, Blue Jackets 2

NASHVILLE, Tenn. Greg Johnson scored his first goal of the season and assisted on another.

Johnson, Denis Arkhipov and Rem Murray all scored for Nashville in the second period.

Goaltender Tomas Vokoun missed a shutout when Kent McDonell scored at 12:33. Vokoun won his second straight, turning back 25 shots.

Wild 2, Canucks 2, OT

ST. PAUL, Minn. Henrik Sedin slammed in a loose rebound on a power play with 2:22 left in regulation as Vancouver and Minnesota renewed their fierce rivalry from last season's playoffs.

Jim Dowd and Matt Johnson scored for Minnesota, which led 2-1 until Sergei Zholtok was called for slashing late in the third period. Sedin scored Vancouver's third power-play goal this year in 28 chances.

Antti Laaksonen had a first-period penalty shot clank off the right post for the Wild, who managed only eight shots on Canucks goalie Johan Hedberg after the second period.

Sabres 2, Flames 0

CALGARY, Alberta Mika Noronen was perfect in his first start of the season, making 20 saves for his second career.

Rookie Ales Kotalik and Miroslav Satan scored for Buffalo.

Bruins 4, Kings 3

LOS ANGELES Rookie Patrice Bergeron scored his first NHL goal with 2:32 left in the third period to tie the score, and Mike Knuble got the winner 44 seconds later as the Boston Bruins rallied from three goals down.

Felix Potvin, facing the Kings for the first time since leaving as an unrestricted free agent, recorded his first victory for the Bruins and finished with 15 saves after giving up three power-play goals. The Kings did not get a shot on net in third period.

Senators 4, Sharks 1

SAN JOSE, Calif. Marian Hossa scored his second goal of the game on a penalty shot, and Radek Bonk had a goal and an assist.

Patrick Lalime, who shut out Anaheim on Friday night, made 28 saves as the Senators wrapped up a three-game California road trip with two straight victories. Ottawa was the NHL's best road team last season.

Oilers 6, Avalanche 3

EDMONTON, Alberta Steve Staios had two goals for the first time in his career and Mike York and Marty Reasoner each scored short-handed.

Staios, who also had an assist for his second three-point game, scored his first two goals of the season at key moments in the game.

He scored on the power play 26 seconds into the second period to put Edmonton up 2-1, and snapped a shot over the glove hand of rookie goaltender Philippe Sauve 1:03 into the third to make it 4-2.

Alex Tanguay narrowed the lead to 4-3 at 7:05 of the third and the Avalanche had a two-man advantage midway through the period, but the Oilers killed the first penalty to Ryan Smyth, who came out of the box to lead a rush that led to Reasoner's goal.

Flyers 5, Coyotes 4

PHOENIX Mark Recchi scored two goals as the Philadelphia Flyers stayed undefeated. Former Coyotes star Jeremy Roenick had a goal and two assists, as did Joni Pitkanen, to hand Phoenix goaltender Sean Burke his first loss in four starts.

Keith Primeau got his first goal 6:16 into the third period, and Tony Amonte had two assists in his first action against the Coyotes, who traded him to Philadelphia in March.

Philadelphia's Jeff Hackett gave up his first goal of the season, to Ladislav Nagy. Brian Savage, Shane Doan and Branko Radivojevic also scored for Phoenix, and Paul Mara had three assists.

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