DETROIT (Ticker) — Marian Hossa continues to have his way with
the Atlanta Thrashers.
The Slovakian recorded two goals and one assist against his
former team as the Detroit Red Wings held on for a 5-3 triumph
over the Thrashers on Friday.
Henrik Zetterberg also netted a pair of goals and Daniel Cleary
added an empty-netter with 35 seconds remaining in the third
period for Detroit, which improved to 5-0-1 in its last six
Defenseman Brian Rafalski notched two assists and Chris Osgood
made 30 saves for the Red Wings.
Jim Slater, defenseman Ron Hainsey and Brett Sterling scored and
Kari Lehtonen turned aside 41 shots for Atlanta, which has won
just once since recording a victory in its season-opening
Hossa has 15 goals and seven assists in 20 career games against
Atlanta, including a career-best four-goal performance on
January 2, 2003 while with the Ottawa Senators.
The 28-year-old admitted he was excited to face the Thrashers, a
team with which he played from 2005-08.
“Definitely, playing your former team and knowing a lot of guys
on the team – you play with a little more jump,” Hossa said.
“Today, I felt good and we created a lot of chances. We played
well until the end.”
“He’s a great player. Certainly the Atlanta people know that
because he was here a couple of years,” Thrashers first-year
coach John Anderson said.
Detroit coach Mike Babcock agreed.
“I thought Hossa was absolutely fantastic. He was a little
motivated and absolutely, he put on a great show,” he said.
“He’s just a real strong guy, dynamic offensively and
defensively. … He, Pav (Pavel Datsyuk) and Hank are all great
with or without the puck. That’s what makes them all so
With the game tied at 1-1 with 4:18 remaining in the first
period, Hossa skated around former Red Wings defenseman Mathieu
Schneider and waited for Lehtonen to go down to the ice before
tucking the puck just inside the right goalpost.
“A 1-on-1, I was a little too far out and couldn’t recover,”
Lehtonen said. “It’s just his skill. He made us look very bad
on that play. He made a nice goal.”
“It seemed every time (Hossa) got the puck in our zone, he
created something toward the goal,” Hainsey said.
Hossa doubled Detroit’s advantage 5:29 into the second period
and Zetterberg added his second tally of the night just 72
seconds later to open a 4-1 advantage.
Last postseason’s Conn Smythe Trophy winner, Zetterberg opened
the scoring just 2:12 into the contest with a power-play tally,
marking the fifth consecutive game in which the Red Wings have
recorded a goal with the man advantage.
“It’s nice when you get the chance to put them away,” Zetterberg
said. “On the first one, I got a nice pass from (Jiri Hudler).
I tried to pick my corner and hope that (Lehtonen) would miss.”