ATLANTA – Slava Kozlov and Marian Hossa scored in a shootout for the second straight game to give the Atlanta Thrashers a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night.

Sidney Crosby, the NHL’s leading scorer, forced overtime with 15.3 seconds remaining with a tap-in from the near right side. In the shootout, Atlanta goaltender Kari Lehtonen first stopped Erik Christensen before holding off Crosby’s attempt to beat him on the stick side.

Crosby’s extended his scoring streak to 10 games with his 17th goal. The second-year star, a former No. 1 overall draft pick, has seven goals and 15 assists during the streak.

Ilya Kovalchuk had a goal and two assists for Atlanta, which has won two straight after ending a five-game losing skid with a shootout victory at New Jersey on Tuesday.

Kovalchuk’s 19th goal, his ninth on the power play, came at the 6:32 mark of the second period to give the Thrashers a 2-0 lead.

Kozlov’s 12th goal, which gave the Thrashers a 3-1 lead 18:03 into the second period, came 1:27 after rookie Jordan Staal scored his NHL-leading fifth shorthanded goal.

Canadiens 4, Flyers 2

MONTREAL – Mike Johnson scored Montreal’s league-leading 10th short-handed goal and the Canadiens extended their season-high winning streak to five games with a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night.

Guillaume Latendresse, Craig Rivet and Chris Higgins also scored for Montreal. Canadiens goalie David Aebischer, who made a pad save on R.J. Umberger’s penalty shot in the first period, stopped 26 shots.

Philadelphia’s team-record losing streak reached eight games.

The Flyers, who have yet to win in December, have lost seven straight in regulation over the course of an 0-7-1 losing streak which began with a 4-3 shootout loss in New Jersey on Dec. 2.

Blues 5, Kings 2

ST. LOUIS – Lee Stempniak had a goal and an assist as the St. Louis Blues jumped out to a three-goal lead and went on to beat the Los Angeles Kings 5-2 on Thursday night.

The win was the second straight for the Blues after losing 11 in a row. St. Louis has won back-to-back games in regulation for the first time this season.

It also was the first win for St. Louis in eight home games (1-6-1).

The victory snapped the Kings’ five-game winning streak against the Blues. The last St. Louis win over Los Angeles since March 16, 2004.

St. Louis center David Backes scored his first NHL goal on a backhand in the slot at 10:47. Backes, a second-round pick in 2003, made his debut Tuesday in Pittsburgh and notched an assist.

Lightning 4, Senators 2

OTTAWA – Ruslan Fedotenko, Paul Ranger and Vincent Lecavalier scored third-period goals to help the Tampa Bay Lightning rally for a 4-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night.

Martin St. Louis also scored for the Lightning, and Marc Denis made 16 saves.

Dany Heatley and Antoine Vermette scored for Ottawa. The Senators have lost two straight and six of their past eight.

Fedotenko beat Ottawa goalie Ray Emery on a long shot at 2:30 of the third to tie it at 2. Ranger put the Lightning ahead with a shot from the point at 8:53, and Lecavalier completed the scoring with an empty-net goal.

Panthers 3, Rangers 2

SUNRISE, Fla. – Rostislav Olesz capped Florida’s three-goal rally midway through the third period to give the Panthers a 3-2 win Thursday night over the New York Rangers.

Chris Gratton and Nathan Horton also scored for Florida, which won after trailing in the third for the first time in 16 games this season.

The victory also gave the Panthers their first three-game winning streak of the season.

Sabres 7, Predators 2

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Jason Pominville had two goals and an assist and Maxim Afinogenov and Ales Kotalik each scored twice to help the Buffalo Sabres snap a two-game skid by routing the Nashville Predators 7-2 Thursday night.

These teams had not played since Nov. 29, 2003, and won’t play again this season unless it’s in the Stanley Cup finals. With Buffalo the top team in the Eastern Conference and Nashville second in the West, it’s not an unlikely Cup preview.

But the Sabres, who outshot Nashville 36-31, scored two goals in the first five minutes and sealed the victory with three in the second, including the last two by Afinogenov. Derek Roy had three assists.


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