31st December 10:03
Thrashers Win Big One In Ottawa
2 goals in 1:22 stun Ottawa
By JOHN MANASSO
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 2/19/04
Ottawa -- In playing one of their best all-around games of the season,
the Thrashers showed the comeback ability that made their early season so
exciting and successful.
They tied the game with 10 seconds left in regulation, and former Senator
Shawn McEachern knocked in a power-play goal 1:12 into overtime for a 3-2
victory at the Corel Centre on Thursday night.
The Thrashers trailed by two goals entering the third period and by one
with 10 seconds left in regulation. But Ilya Kovalchuk crashed the net
and converted a centering pass from Ottawa-born Randy Robitaille to send
the game into overtime 2-2.
Pasi Nurminen, who held the Thrashers in the game despite his team being
outshot 33-15 in regulation, was pulled, giving the Thrashers a 5-on-4
advantage, as each team had a player in the penalty box.
Ottawa's Zdeno Chara, awarded a penalty for roughing, stayed in the box
in overtime after the Thrashers' Tomas Kloucek came out with four seconds
left in regulation.
The result spoiled the acquisition by Ottawa of Peter Bondra from the
Washington Capitals on Wednesday. Bondra scored the game's first goal
with 4:29 left in the second period.
Peter Schaefer made it 2-0 about three minutes later, putting in a
rebound from a near-impossible angle.
About 18 inches from the goal-line with his momentum carrying him behind
it, Schaefer labeled a shot inches inside the goal post past Nurminen,
who had left his crease on the initial save.
What made the Thrashers' defensive effort so impressive was the absence
of one of their top defen*****, Frantisek Kaberle.
He sprained his right knee 14 seconds into the game and did not return.
Right wing J.P. Vigier, a key penalty killer, suffered bruised ribs in
the second period and did not return.
With Kaberle out, sixth defenseman Kloucek had to pick up the slack and
play more minutes. That's why Kloucek was killing a penalty late in the
first when he hooked All-Star Daniel Alfredsson, earning himself a
The Thrashers killed both, helped by a holding call on Ottawa's Josh
While their defense was exemplary, their offense lacked a bit, as the
Thrashers failed to convert on their first three power-play chances and
they managed just four shots in the first period and three in the second.
Jeff Cowan converted a 2-on-1 pass from Patrik Stefan to make it 2-1 3:26
into the third period.
Ottawa coach Jacques Martin took advantage of home ice, using the last
change on faceoffs to play Chara, the league's leader in plus/minus
1 2 3 OT Final
Atlanta 0 0 2 1 3
Ottawa 0 2 0 0 2
First Period - No Scoring. Penalties - Sutton, ATL (roughing), 15:01;
Kloucek, ATL (hooking), 16:58; Langfeld, OTT (holding), 18:03.
Second Period - 1, Ottawa, Bondra 22, 15:31. 2, Ottawa, Schaefer 13
(Van Allen, Alfredsson), 18:35. Penalties - Simpson, OTT (tripping),
3:36; Rachunek, OTT (slashing), 15:58.
Third Period - 3, Atlanta, Cowan 9 (Stefan), 3:26. 4, Atlanta,
Kovalchuk 32 (Robitaille, Savard), 19:49. Penalties - Savard, ATL
(closing hand on puck), 5:16; Stefan, ATL (tripping), 9:03;
Kloucek, ATL (holding), 17:56; Chara, OTT (roughing), 19:25.
Overtime - 5, Atlanta, McEachern 13 (Savard, Robitaille), 1:12, (pp).
Penalties - None.
Shots On Goal - Atlanta 4-3-8-2=17. Ottawa 8-9-16-0=33.
Power-Play Conversions - Atlanta 1-4. Ottawa 0-5.
Goaltenders - Atlanta, Nurminen (20-21-5)
Goaltenders - Ottawa, Lalime (20-16-6)
Attendance - 18,500.
Referees - Chris Rooney, Terry Gregson.
Linesmen - Derek Nansen, Pierre Racicot.