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Kovalchuk nets hat trick as Thrashers double up Ducks

ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) -- Ilya Kovalchuk recorded his 11th

career hat trick and added an assist as the Atlanta Thrashers

scored four times in the second period and cruised to an 8-4

triumph over the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday.

Bryan Little and Colin Stuart both scored and set up a goal

apiece and Rich Peverley, Colby Armstrong and defenseman Niclas

Havelid also tallied for Atlanta, which improved to 3-7-0 in its

last 10 games.

Defenseman Ron Hainsey and Todd White notched a pair of assists

apiece and Kari Lehtonen turned aside 31 shots and even added an

assist for the Thrashers.

"If you're not going to shoot, you're not going to score,"

Kovalchuk said matter-of-factly. "I changed my mentality a

little bit the last couple games and tried to shoot more."

"I think he has really been skating well the last three or four

games," Atlanta coach John Anderson said of Kovalchuk. "He is

starting to feel like himself again. He's hounding the puck,

he's chasing the puck. He gets it - he's dangerous, obviously."

Teemu Selanne tallied twice and set up a goal and Andrew Ebbett

scored one goal and had two assists for Anaheim, which saw its

modest two-game winning streak come to an end.

Rookie Bobby Ryan had a goal and an assist and defenseman Brett

Festerling set up a pair of tallies for the Ducks.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere turned aside 20 of 25 shots before being

relieved by Jonas Hiller. The Swiss netminder finished with 15


"Everything that you don't want to happen happened," Ducks

defenseman Scott Niedermayer said. "We made our share of

mistakes and they scored their share of goals. I guess those

nights do happen once in awhile. Unfortunately, we can't afford

it right now. That is the worst part of it."

"Those are ones that you bang your head against the wall and you

try to figure out how we could perform to the level we

performed," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. "It just seemed

that we didn't have anything going in a lot of areas. We tried

to battle back, but we just got frustrated. Pucks bounced away

form us in every situation. We started to do too much as

individuals and just fed their attack."

With Atlanta nursing a 2-1 lead entering the second period,

Kovalchuk scored three times in a span of 6:51 to notch his

first hat trick of the season.

The talented Russian last accomplished the feat March 13, 2008

against Calgary. He also recorded three goals and an assist in

that game.

His first tally on Saturday was on a 5-on-3 power play 86

seconds into the second period.

"It's really important, because lately we haven't gotten

anything," Kovalchuk said. "We got a couple of opportunities

with the 5-on-3 and we didn't score. It was a lucky bounce, but

we'll take it."

Kovalchuk, who added even-strength goals 37 seconds apart, has a

team-leading 27 goals this season.

"He's an explosive guy. Every time he gets the puck, it's

exciting," Armstrong said. "Today he stepped up and buried his

chance. He's dangerous. We have him scoring like that, we're

pretty tough to beat. Everyone feeds off him, too."


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