ATLANTA – Pavel Vorobiev had two goals in regulation and scored in the second round of a shootout, leading the Chicago Blackhawks to a 5-4 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers.

Michael Holmqvist beat Atlanta goaltender Michael Garnett for the Blackhawks’ third and deciding score in the five-round shootout.

Ilya Kovalchuk scored his 18th and 19th goals in regulation for Atlanta, which has lost six of seven. Pavel Vorobiev had two goals for the Blackhawks, who have won two straight and have played four consecutive overtime games.

Marc Savard finished with a goal and two assists for the Thrashers. Tyler Arnason and Patrick Sharp each had a pair of saves for Chicago.

Playing in his 500th NHL game, Blackhawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin stopped 33 of 37 shots as he improved to 7-5 in his last 12 starts.

After Kovalchuk and Marian Hossa scored in the first two rounds of the shootout, Khabibulin stopped Greg de Vries, Savard and Slava Kozlov.

Michael Garnett, who saved 28 of 32 shots, dropped to 4-8-1 this season. He stopped Rene Bourque before Vorobiev and Jaroslav Spacek beat him in the shootout. Sharp missed his attempt in the shootout before Holmqvist ended the game by firing past Garnett’s stick.

Vorobiev scored the first and third goals of the first period, and Spacek had the second for the Blackhawks, who led 3-0 lead before Savard knocked in a rebound to beat Khabibulin’s glove side at the 17:05 mark of the first.

Kovalchuk’s 11th power-play goal, which tied Jaromir Jagr of the New York Rangers for the league lead, scored with 23 seconds remaining in the period.

The Thrashers were seeking consecutive victories for the first time since Nov. 26-27. They stopped a five-game losing streak by beating Columbus 5-2 on Friday.

Kozlov’s eighth goal sailed inside the right post and beat Khabibulin low as Atlanta took a 4-3 lead with 11:33 remaining in regulation. Duncan Keith forced overtime less than three minutes later with a backhander from the slot that beat Garnett’s glove side.

Notes: The Blackhawks have scored three goals in a period five times this year and three times on the road. … Khabibulin, who helped Tampa Bay win the most recent Stanley Cup, is 219-201-58 in his career.

AP-ES-12-11-05 1726EST


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