THRASHERS SHUT OUT PENGUINS, 5-0
ATLANTA – The Atlanta Thrashers scored three goals in the second period en route to a 5-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.
It was the first time the Penguins have been shut out this season as Mike Dunham turned aside all 26 shots he faced.
A win would have given the Penguins eight points on a five-game road trip for the first time in the franchise’s history. Instead, the Penguins (4-7-5) finished with a 3-2 record and six points as their season-long road voyage came to an end.
The teams battled to a scoreless tie at the first intermission.
Pittsburgh’s Erik Christensen had a wide-open goal with about 5:00 left in the first period. The puck caromed to him and he shot it at the net, but Dunham dove back and got his stick on the puck to knock it away and keep the game scoreless.
The Thrashers outshot the Penguins, 20-10, and cashed in three times in the pivotal second period.
Marian Hossa flipped a shot over Sebastien Caron’s right side 5:08 into the second period. He slipped behind the Penguins’ defense on a clearing attempt and was left alone in front of the net for the power-play goal.
The Penguins were held without a shot for the first 12:45 until they got three in a quick flurry in front of the net. However, Dunham denied them all.
On the ensuing possession, however, Marc Savard put the Thrashers ahead, 2-0, at 13:05. Hossa broke in on net and Caron made a sprawling save, but Savard flipped the rebound over Caron and into the net.
Vyacheslav Kozlov upped Atlanta’s lead to 3-0 when he ripped a slap-shot past Caron. Ilya Kovalchuk’s pass from behind the net deflected off defenseman Josef Melichar’s stick and right to Kozlov, who was streaking down the slot. He ripped it into the goal with 3:54 to play.
Atlanta’s Jim Slater scored 10:55 into the third period. Left alone in front of the far post, he tapped in a pass to make it 4-0.
With about 5:00 remaining Jocelyn Thibault replaced Caron, who left the game with an injury. Peter Bondra pushed Atlanta’s lead to 5-0 on the first shot against Thibault that clanged off a post.
Pittsburgh returns home Thursday to face the Montreal Canadiens at 7:30 p.m.
ICE CHIPS: Pittsburgh’s Sebastien Caron made his seventh-straight start in goal…Ryan VandenBussche and Rob Scuderi were the Penguins’ healthy scratches…Rookie Ryan Whitney had his four-game point streak stopped.