NHL Game Summary – Chicago at Atlanta

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Jonathan Toews scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period and the Chicago Blackhawks held on to edge the Atlanta Thrashers, 3-1, at Philips Arena.

Nikolai Khabibulin was outstanding between the pipes, stopping 36-of-37 shots for Chicago, which rebounded from a sloppy 7-3 loss in Vancouver on Saturday. The Blackhawks have won five of seven on their current eight-game road trip which ends on Friday night in St. Louis

Patrick Sharp and Dave Bolland also tallied for Chicago, while Cameron Barker registered a pair of assists.

Kari Lehtonen turned in a strong performance, making 25 saves for the Thrashers, who were unable to feed off a 3-1 win at Tampa on Tuesday. Atlanta has dropped seven of its last nine.

Ilya Kovalchuk scored the lone goal for the Thrashers, his 24th of the season.

After a scoreless first stanza, Sharp's power-play tally with 5:54 left in the second broke the deadlock and started a flurry of goals. With Niclas Havelid off serving a slashing minor, Sharp took a pass from Brian Campbell in the low left circle and beat Lehtonen over the shoulder with a quick wrist shot.

The lead was short-lived as Kovalchuk's one-time blast from the middle slot tied the contest with 1:55 remaining in the frame and Atlanta on the power play.

But only 21 seconds later and Chicago with the man advantage again, Toews put home Patrick Kane's rebound from in close to give the visitors a 2-1 edge.

Kovalchuk then had a clear-cut breakaway with time winding down in the period, but his slap shot from the top of the right circle was stopped by Khabibulin and before he could get the rebound past the Chicago netminder, time expired.

"I thought that we played great," Atlanta head coach John Anderson said. "One of our best games to date. I thought we were aggressive. That's the type of hockey I want us to play. Certainly for whatever reason we don't get a bounce. It certainly tells the tale of this season."

Late in the third period with the Blackhawks still holding a 2-1 lead Bolland was stopped by Lehtonen on a breakaway with only 1:43 remaining.

Sharp was then called for hooking with 1:17 left and despite some good puck movement on the power play, the Thrashers were unable to get the equalizer. Bolland's empty net tally with 10 ticks to go accounted for the final score.

"It was a big win," Sharp said. "Things kind of started out slow tonight. Maybe both teams were feeling each other out. Then it turned into a pretty good hockey game in the second half. They are a good team. We got to respect their offensive players. They can create chances every shift."

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