Slava Kozlov scored with 2 minutes 41 seconds remaining in overtime, giving the Atlanta Thrashers a 3-2 victory over the visiting San Jose Sharks last night and only the second three-game winning streak in franchise history.
"This could be one of the best games that we've played," Atlanta Coach Curt Fraser said. "San Jose is a great team. They're big and fast, and our guys played well with them. Every game, we get a little bit better in areas where we were weak before. There's a lot of great things happening with the Thrashers right now."
Kozlov's third goal of the season was set up by Andy Sutton, who circled behind the net and almost back to the blueline before flipping a pass in front. Kozlov's quick backhander was stopped by Evgeni Nabokov, but the rebound came right back to the Atlanta player, who snapped a wrist shot into the net.
Owen Nolan forced overtime by scoring for San Jose with just 2:40 left in regulation. Scott Hannan's shot from the blueline was stopped by Pasi Nurminen, but the puck slipped between the goalie's legs as Mike Ricci hacked at it several times.
Nolan appeared to get a stick on the puck after it already had crossed the line, but he was given credit for his sixth goal.
The Thrashers went ahead for the first time when Shawn McEachern broke a 1-1 tie with 9:40 remaining.
Atlanta, which started the season with a nine-game losing streak that had Fraser on the verge of being fired, has turned things around by going 4-1-1 over their last six games.
The only other three-game winning streak in Thrashers' history was Dec. 1-4, 2000, launching the lone winning month in team history. They never won more than two in a row last season.
* FLYERS 1, PANTHERS 1: Kristian Huselius had a goal and Jani Hurme stopped 29 shots as visiting Florida tied Philadelphia.
The Flyers are winless in their last three games, yet are off to a 9-3-3 start under new coach Ken Hitchcock. Florida is unbeaten in its last three games (1-0-2).
Pavel Brendl gave Philadelphia a 1-0 lead 2:29 into the second period with his second goal.
Huselius tied it 1-1 on his eighth goal with 1:10 left in the second period. Sandis Ozolinsh took a slap shot from just inside the blueline and the puck bounced off Huselius past goaltender Robert Esche.
"We had a lot of chances," Flyers forward John LeClair said. "This is a game you want to win, especially at home against a team you should beat."