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Hossa's hat trick helps Thrashers solve Leafs

Published Dec. 1, 2006

Thrashers 1 0 4 5

Maple Leafs 0 0 0 0

The Thrashers ended three years of frustration against the Maple Leafs.

Marian Hossa had three goals and an assist, Kari Lehtonen stopped 36 shots and the Thrashers beat the Maple Leafs on Thursday night for a victory that meant the most to Atlanta's veterans.

"I think we sent them a message that we're not going to accept it anymore," said Slava Kozlov, who savored his four assists after playing in eight straight losses to Toronto. "We beat them in our building, and next week we get a chance to beat them in their building."

It was Atlanta's first win over the Maple Leafs since a 3-2 overtime victory Oct. 27, 2003, in Toronto.

The Maple Leafs outscored the Thrashers 37-9 in their eight straight wins, including a 4-2 victory Oct. 30 in Toronto.

Hossa responded to Atlanta fans chanting his name by completing his hat trick with about three minutes left.

Lehtonen earned his fourth shutout of the season, handing Toronto its first shutout loss.

"We're going to have some ugly nights, and this was one of them," Maple Leafs coach Paul Maurice said.

Lehtonen added to his team record with seven career shutouts, including two straight in home wins.

Toronto has totaled two goals in three straight losses, matching its longest skid of the season.

Hossa ended his personal history of frustration against Toronto with his first hat trick for Atlanta.

Hossa leads the NHL with 20 goals this season, but he had only one goal and one assist in his past nine games against Toronto.

Hossa passed the Rangers' Jaromir Jagr for the league scoring lead with 39 points. And he leads the league with 20 power-play points.

Capitals 2 2 0 4

Stars 0 1 2 3

WASHINGTON - Olaf Kolzig made 35 saves and withstood a third-period rally to defeat the only franchise he had never beaten. Richard Zednik, Chris Clark, Matt Pettinger and Alexander Semin scored for the Capitals, who won their second straight after six losses. Jakub Klepis had two assists.

Coyotes 4 1 2 7

Kings 3 1 0 4

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Ladislav Nagy returned from a one-game benching to score a goal and add three assists for the Coyotes.

Hurricanes 1 1 2 4

Canadiens 1 1 0 2

RALEIGH, N.C. - Justin Williams and Eric Belanger scored less than a minute apart in the third to lead the Hurricanes.

Erik Cole added two goals off his own rebounds for the Hurricanes. Michael Ryder and Tomas Plekanec scored for the Canadiens, who had won four of five. Huet finished with 44 saves.

Senators 3 3 0 6

Panthers 0 0 0 0

OTTAWA - Dany Heatley had two goals and an assist and Ray Emery made 31 saves for the Senators' first shutout of the season.

Mike Fisher, Chris Kelly, Andrej Meszaros and Antoine Vermette also scored for Ottawa, which won its second straight.

Flyers 2 1 0 3

Islanders 0 1 1 2

UNIONDALE, N.Y. - Rookie defenseman Alexandre Picard had the first two assists of his career for the Flyers.

Picard set up power-play goals by Randy Robitaille and Mike Knuble with long shots as the Flyers won for just the eighth time.

Avalanche 4 2 1 7

Oilers 2 0 1 3

EDMONTON, Alberta - Tyler Arnason had two goals and an assist for the Avalanche.

Marek Svatos also scored twice and Ken Klee had three assists for the Avalanche, who climbed over .500 and moved out of last place in the Northwest Division - just two points behind first-place Edmonton.

Predators 2 1 2 5

Blues 1 2 1 4

ST. LOUIS - Jordin Tootoo's first goal of the season snapped a tie early in the third period to lead the Predators.

Scott Hartnell scored his fourth goal in three games and had an assist for the Central Division leaders, who are 8-0-1 against the Blues the past two seasons.

Paul Kariya added his sixth goal, and David Legwand got his seventh.

Around the league

PLEA EXPECTED IN GAMBLING RING CASE: A second man accused of running a gambling ring with former hockey star Rick Tocchet will plead guilty and agree to cooperate with authorities, a report said.

James Ulmer will plead guilty today in state Superior Court in New Jersey to promoting gambling and conspiracy and faces as long as 364 days in county jail, reported the Star-Ledger of Newark, which cited law enforcement officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing.

Ulmer, 41, would be the second man to plead guilty in the case, which authorities have said involved bettors including NHL players and actress Janet Jones, the wife of hockey great Wayne Gretzky.

Tocchet and Ulmer are the only remaining people charged in the case. No alleged bettors have been charged.

PENGUINS: John LeClair, 37, was placed on waivers, a move designed to try to move the two-time 50-goal scorer to another team.

If LeClair clears waivers by today, the team must decide whether to release him and be responsible for his $1.5-million salary or keep him and try to work out a trade in which they might have to pick up part of his salary.

WILD: Defenseman Shawn Belle was recalled from AHL Houston. Belle had one goal and eight assists in 21 games with the Aeros.

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