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Enstrom, Peverley help Thrashers end home losing streak

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- A pair of shorthanded goals helped the

Atlanta Thrashers end their woes at Philips Arena.

Defenseman Tobias Enstrom and Rich Peverley each netted their

first career shorthanded goal as the Atlanta Thrashers snapped a

four-game home losing skid with a 4-3 victory over the Colorado

Avalanche on Tuesday.

Enstrom and Peverley also collected an assist apiece and Kari

Lehtonen made 30 saves for the Thrashers, who had not won at

Philips Arena since January 20.

"We had a good road trip with two good wins," Enstrom said of

Atlanta's recently completed 2-1-1 West Coast swing.

"We wanted to bring it home. We wanted to show our fans we

could play well at home."

All-Star Ilya Kovalchuk and Marty Reasoner also scored for

Atlanta, which had posted a 4-8-1 record over its previous 13

contests.

"I think on the road, we simplified things," Peverley said. "We

have a pretty good offensive team. First and foremost is

defense. When we play good defensive games, we give ourselves a

chance to win every game."

Milan Hejduk tallied twice, rookie Chris Stewart scored and

Peter Budaj stopped 22 shots for the Avalanche, who have lost

six of their last nine contests and sit in last place in the

Western Conference.

"I think we thought it was going to be a little bit easier than

it turned out to be," Colorado coach Tony Granato said. "We

made some mistakes on our own end. We got sloppy coming back to

our end and with the skill they have offensively, they can score

goals."

The Thrashers opened the scoring on their first shot after

blue-liner Ron Hainsey was whistled for slashing early in the

first period.

Eric Perrin led the rush and delivered a cross-ice pass to a

streaking Enstrom, who skated in and beat Budaj with a

backhander at 2:57. Kovalchuk scored 70 seconds later on

Atlanta's next shot to give the club an early 2-0 edge.

"That was very nice," Lehtonen said of the club's early

outburst.

"It was kind of the best start I could hope for. We scored and

I got a couple of real good saves early."

Reasoner continued the early offensive onslaught, tallying his

10th goal of the season with 8:40 remaining in the opening

session.

After Hejduk's two goals cut the deficit to 3-2, Peverley added

a much-needed insurance goal with 4:44 left in the second

period. Enstrom led the shorthanded rush and made the pass to

Peverley, who converted with a wrist shot from the slot.

"That's unacceptable," Hejduk said of Colorado's play with the

extra attacker.

"It's one thing to be on the power play and not score goals, but

you shouldn't give up goals. It happened tonight and that's

unfortunate."

Colorado center Paul Stastny, who had been sidelined for two

months with a fractured right forearm, collected an assist in

his first game back.

"It felt OK," said Stastny, who was injured by Olli Jokinen's

slap shot on December 23. "I got a little tired here and there.

Conditioning-wise, I felt fine.

"The speed of the game and the strength of the players took

getting used to a little bit, but as the game wore on, I got a

little more accustomed to it."

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