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Thrashers pitch shutout

One night after not holding a lead with seconds left in regulation, Kari Lehtonen made sure to avoid a similar fate.

"I didn't want the same thing to happen twice," he said. "You know ... seconds left, and it's 6-on-3. I kind of felt the same way as last night."

Ilya Kovalchuk scored his 16th goal and Lehtonen stopped 37 shots to lead the Thrashers over the Panthers on Saturday night.

Coming off a 3-2 loss in overtime Friday at Tampa Bay, Atlanta won for the second time in three games.

Lehtonen, who allowed Dan Boyle's tying goal with 11 seconds left in regulation the night before, made 12 saves in the third period.

The Thrashers' goaltender improved to 4-0 against Florida this season after Panthers center Stephen Weiss missed the net on a wide-open shot from the right side with four seconds left in the game.

Weiss' 9-foot attempt came after Joe Nieuwendyk beat Bobby Holik on a faceoff that began a three-man advantage for Florida.

The Panthers, who have lost three straight and six of eight, didn't take a shot on goal in the final nine seconds even though Atlanta's Brad Larsen and Kovalchuk were sitting in the penalty box. Panthers coach Jacques Martin had pulled goalie Alex Auld, who stopped 27 shots, with 52 seconds left.

"We're just cutting it way too close," Holik said. "We play all year straddling this fine line between winning and losing. In the long run, it's not going to work."

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Sergei Fedorov had two goals and two assists for the Blue Jackets, who ended an eight-game losing skid and handed Ken Hitchcock his first win as coach.

Hitchcock, 408-249-100 in stints with Dallas and Philadelphia, was hired Wednesday to replace the fired Gerard Gallant. The biggest cheer of the pregame lineup announcements came when Hitchcock was introduced.

Goaltender Fredrik Norrena had 19 saves to pick up his first NHL win.

MONTREAL - Simon Gagne had two goals and an assist to lead the Flyers, who scored three second-period goals.

Gagne set up Mike Knuble's go-ahead goal 15:43 into the second before making it 3-1 on a power play with 11.9 seconds remaining in the period. He added his second goal of the game - his team-leading 13th - with a short-handed effort with 2:08 left in the third.

TORONTO - Petr Tenkrat, Marc Savard and Brad Boyes scored for the Bruins.

Toronto captain Mats Sundin returned to lineup and scored a power-play goal in the third period, but the Maple Leafs looked sluggish in the first two periods. But Boyes, a former Leaf, gave Boston an insurance goal at 15:44 by redirecting Patrice Bergeron's pass from behind the net.

Former Bruin Andrew Raycroft made 22 saves for the Maple Leafs. Defenseman Pavel Kubina, a former Lightning player, didn't return after taking a puck to the face in the second.

UNIONDALE, N.Y. - Jason Blake scored two goals and Rick DiPietro displayed more confidence in making 33 saves for the Islanders.

Blake has goals in four of five games for the Islanders, 6-1-1 in their past eight. Washington lost for the sixth straight time.

Richard Park and Trent Hunter also scored, and Alexei Yashin had two assists for the Islanders. But Yashin bruised his right knee and left the ice in the closing minutes after colliding with Capitals forward Matt Bradley. The Islanders' captain will have an MRI exam Monday.

PITTSBURGH - Martin Straka scored with 2.2 seconds left in overtime for the Rangers, and Jaromir Jagr also scored.

Rookie Evgeni Malkin scored for the Penguins, who played without young star Sidney Crosby for a third consecutive game.

ST. LOUIS - Yankic Perreault scored his seventh goal in eight games for the Coyotes, breaking a 1-1 tie in the second period.

NASHVILLE - Kimmo Timonen and Marek Zidlicky scored a power-play goal apiece to lead the Predators.