RALEIGH, N.C. – Ilya Kovalchuk had two goals and two assists, and Marian Hossa scored the go-ahead goal in the third period to lead the Atlanta Thrashers past the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2 on Sunday.

Marc Savard and Jean-Pierre Vigier also had goals for the Thrashers.

Andrew Ladd and Aaron Ward scored for the Hurricanes, who have lost four of five heading into a six-game road trip that begins Tuesday at Atlanta.

Atlanta ended Carolina’s franchise-record, nine-game winning streak with a 9-0 victory two weeks ago, which was also the Hurricanes’ first home loss. Kovalchuk scored a pair of goals in that one and had another solid day against the Southeast Division leaders.

Hossa put the Thrashers ahead to stay with a breakaway goal. Shane Hnidy’s clear along the boards from the corner bounced between Rod Brind’Amour and Andrew Commodore and rolled into open ice, where Hossa corralled it and skated in to beat Martin Gerber for a 3-2 lead at 12:19 of the third.

Kovalchuk sealed the win about 3 minutes later, stealing the puck from Eric Staal and skating away from Carolina’s young star for a second breakaway goal. Staal tried to slow Kovalchuk by slashing him hard enough to snap his stick, but Kovalchuk didn’t seem to notice as he went on to beat Gerber for a 4-2 lead.

The Hurricanes struggled again on the power play, going 0-for-6. Carolina was 2-for-18 with the man advantage in the past three games.

Atlanta got off to a good start, scoring the first two goals in the opening 8 minutes. Kovalchuk stole a pass from Justin Williams during a power play, then sent the puck across the zone to Savard, who knocked a shot past Gerber from the left side at 4:21.

Kovalchuk pushed the lead to 2-0 a few minutes later. He corralled a puck that bounced off the boards from behind the net, then fired a shot that squeezed past Gerber in the upper right corner of the goal.

The Hurricanes closed the gap when Ladd – the No. 4 pick in the 2004 draft – scored for the second straight game when Williams tried to connect with Brind’Amour on a pass from behind the net. The puck slipped by the Hurricanes captain, but Ladd was waiting in between the circles and beat Michael Garnett with a straightaway shot at 15:01 of the period.

Ward tied it late in the second, grabbing Brind’Amour’s pass for Ladd that caromed off the boards and slapping a shot from the right side past Garnett at 18:11 of the second.

Notes: Williams’ assist on Ladd’s goal pushed his point streak to seven games. … Kovalchuk’s assist on Savard’s first-period goal marked his third straight game with an assist and extended his point streak to six. … Atlanta trails first-place Carolina by nine points in the Southeast Division.

AP-ES-11-27-05 1951EST


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