NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -Ilya Kovalchuk had a goal and an assist, and the Atlanta Thrashers routed the Nashville Predators 7-2 Saturday night for their second win in two nights.
Zach Bogosian also had a goal and an assist, and Eric Perrin, Colby Armstrong, Bryan Little, Matthieu Schneider and Jim Slater added a goal apiece. Rich Peverley, claimed by Atlanta off waivers from Nashville a week ago, had three assists against his old team.
It was the most goals Atlanta has scored in a game since a 6-1 win at Toronto on Nov. 25. The Thrashers won 4-3 in overtime Friday night over Toronto after trailing 3-0.
Jordin Tootoo and Shea Weber each scored for Nashville on a night the Predators allowed the most goals since a 7-6 loss at Calgary on Nov. 6. The Predators lost their second straight and third in four games despite getting back captain Jason Arnott and Weber from injuries.
|Rinne Added to YoungStars Roster|
Preds goaltender Pekka Rinne was added to the YoungStars roster at this year’s NHL All-Star Game, Rinne’s first appearance in the NHL All-Star festivities. A two-time participant in the AHL All-Star Game, Rinne joins Shea Weber as the two Preds representatives at the NHL’s All-Star Weekend. ( Video )
Armstrong scored at 6:48 with a one-timer off the faceoff and Kovalchuk made it three goals in four shots when he skated up the slot alone and beat Ellis at 10:48. That was enough for Nashville coach Barry Trotz, who replaced Ellis with Pekka Rinne. He received a nice cheer from fans when he stopped the first shot he faced.
The Predators didn't help themselves offensively, either. They had an early power play trailing 2-0 but didn't get a shot on net. Fans grew so frustrated they started yelling for someone to shoot only to watch the Predators lose a puck out of the zone.
Little made it 4-0 at 18:44 of the first when he skated around the net and flipped the puck inside the post, catching Rinne leaning back too late.
Bogosian, the third overall pick in the 2008 draft, scored his first NHL goal in his 12th game on a slap shot at 1:51 of the third, making it 6-1.
Peverley got his third assist of the game on Slater's short-handed goal at 11:46 in the third. He had the overtime goal and two assists in Friday night's win.
Notes: Thrashers center Todd White had an assist to extend his points streak to six games. He has two goals and seven assists in that stretch. ... Arnott had missed four straight games with a lower body injury. Weber was wearing a walking boot Friday. ... It's the fifth time this season Nashville has allowed at least six goals. ... Tootoo's goal was his first since Nov. 21.
Head Coach Barry Trotz
On his message to the team…
"Well, I think the number one message was that I want to apologize to our fans for that performance. That was not a good performance. We all take responsibility, myself and the team, and I think that we’re embarrassed. I don’t want to take anything away from Atlanta, they came here to win a hockey game and they did that, but our resolve and our poise was not there."
On the start of the game…
"It started early, I thought we got in a couple of good shifts and then they got a turnover, a goal, and after it was 2-0, we just lost our focus there and we didn’t get better all night. So I apologize, we had a great crowd here, they came out tonight and I think we disappointed them. I just apologize to them."
On coming back from three goals down last week…
"We talked about that. They came back from a couple of goals down last week and they had a big win last night. I knew that they were going to have a jump in their step, just as we did. We had lots of jump in our step when we came back against Pittsburgh. That happens. It’s a feel-good thing and I knew that they were going to be really tough and I was concerned about this game and I don’t want to take anything away from them."
On the game of the Thrashers…
"They came out and played hard and they capitalized on their chances."
On what the team takes away from this…
"Well, I think that when things don’t go your way, it’s about resolve and it’s about playing the game a certain way. I thought as they started to pull away in the game, all structure and common sense went out the door. We started cheating and when you start cheating, and the other team is playing well, it just backfires. Guys are trying to do too many high risk things, things that end up going the wrong way, forcing the issue a little. When it’s not there, there’s times even when you have to maintain and there’s times when you have to back off. We haven’t scored a lot of goals, so when you get down 2-0 after the first period, I think we played with our heads a lot."
Captain Jason Arnott
On the loss …
"We started off really well and made a few mental mistakes and it cost us tonight. It’s embarrassing when you have a sell-out crowd and we put on a performance like that. I’m surprised they didn’t leave after the first period. We had a talk after the game and we know what has to happen, and now is the time to do it."
On getting back on track …
"Our mental focus at the beginning of the game is costing us hockey games. Just making the right decisions at the right time and keeping it simple is what we have to do. Teams are looking to go on the offense and are looking for turnovers. Our turnovers have been crazy, so we have to clean that up and that will hopefully take care of the rest of our game."
Goaltender Dan Ellis
On moving forward …
"These are the games that teach you the most. When you get blown out of the water, it exposes your entire team. It exposes your errors and all of your flaws. We lost two points tonight, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a 2-1 loss or a 10-0 loss, it’s the same thing. So if this one teaches us a little bit more, it causes guys to elevate their game and to take a little bit of ownership and responsibility of things that they might have done wrong, and then turn it around. Sometimes these are the games that spark a 10-game winning streak."
On the team’s play …
"Our focus throughout the game wasn’t real strong. We made a lot of errors and we lost coverage. They had the forwards, and even though they’re not one of the best teams in the league, they have outstanding forwards that can put the puck in the net. When you give those guys wide open chances, they’ll bury them. I give credit to them after playing three games in four nights and scoring the way they did."
On Monday’s game against New Jersey …
"New Jersey is one of the better teams in the league that’s playing really well, so we have to come to the rink tomorrow ready to work and ready to fix things. If we wallow in self-pity and the issues that we had tonight, it’s going to carry over, and you don’t want that same effort to carry over against a good team."
Defenseman Shea Weber
On how the team is playing …
"We’re inconsistent. We are playing well, and then we’re not. It’s something we have to solve and we have to be good every night. There are so many good teams in the league now, so there are no nights off."
On moving forward …
"We have to pick ourselves up. We can’t dwell on this. Mistakes happened in this game, and we have to stick together with each other and go forward. Monday’s game is huge, so we can’t dwell on this now. It’s embarrassing to get beat like this in our own building. Monday is a huge game, so we have to win it before the break."