Christensen lifts Thrashers past Kings in shootout

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) — Eric Christensen scored the decisive
goal in the fourth round of the shootout as the Atlanta
Thrashers pulled out a wild 7-6 victory over the Los Angeles
Kings on Monday.

Captain Ilya Kovalchuk netted a pair of goals and set up another
and rookie defenseman Zach Bogosian had three assists for the
Thrashers, who squandered three separate three-goal leads before
winning in the bonus format.

“It was a pretty crazy game,” Bogosian said. “We won, we wanted
to win in regulation, but we won in the shootout and that’s all
that matters.”

Bryan Little, Todd White and Marty Reasoner each recorded a goal
and an assist, Colin Stuart notched a shorthanded tally and
Johan Hedberg made 39 saves for Atlanta, which has been credited
with 15 goals over the last two contests.

“We are doing something right,” Kovalchuk said. “We are shooting
puck and creating some traffic around the net and the puck is
going in. On the other side, we can’t give up six goals and
three in the last 10 minutes. We need to work on that.”

Anze Kopitar, who collected two goals and two assists before
scoring in the shootout, tied the contest in the waning seconds
of regulation with a power-play tally.

“I think we let down a little,” Little said. “In the first
period when we got that 3-0 lead, we let up a little bit.
That’s what we have to get better at. They were playing really
desperate in the third, and we were running around a bit and
almost let it slip.”

Alexander Frolov scored a goal and set up three others and
blue-liner Jack Johnson added a tally and an assist for the
Kings, who have lost three games in a row – including a pair in
the bonus format.

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Jarret Stoll and defenseman Denis Gauthier also tallied, while
captain Dustin Brown, Patrick O’Sullivan and rookie blue-liner
Drew Doughty collected two assists apiece for Los Angeles.

Kopitar opened the shootout by deking to the backhand and firing
a shot past an out-of-position Hedberg, but Vyacheslav Kozlov
answered in the second round with a quick wrist shot over Erik
Ersberg’s glove.

Christensen ended the contest by deking to the forehand and
stuffing a wrist shot past Ersberg, who stopped 17 of the 20
shots he faced after replacing Jonathan Quick in the opening

“If I score, we win the game. So I am going with the move I
know best,” Christensen said. “That’s the move I like. Some
goalies bite and some don’t.

“All I want them to do is push out to his left. Some goalies
stay in and are patient. If you get him to bite, though, you
have an open net.”

Kopitar leveled the contest at 6-6 with five seconds left in
regulation during a scramble in front of the net on a power
play. Kopitar picked up the loose puck in the slot and fired a
wrist shots past a sprawling Hedberg.

The 21-year-old Slovenian also notched a power-play goal at 7:30
of the final session to cut the deficit to 6-4. He also set up
Gauthier’s first goal of the season just over 2 1/2 minutes

“This time of the year you want to get two points, not just
one,” Kopitar said. “Maybe we’re fortunate enough to get one,
but that’s not enough. I mean, like I said, to give up six
goals at home, it’s hard and it definitely shouldn’t happen.”