Kovalchuk Is Thrashers' Hero in Shootout

Adds capper to earlier goal, assist in road win over Toronto
By Lev Weinstein,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2007 12:33 AM CDT
Toronto Maple Leafs left winger Jason Blake (55) takes to the air during a collision with Atlanta Thrashers goaltender Johan Hedberg,of Sweden, during second period hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Ilya Kovalchuck demonstrated his offensive chops last night, leading the struggling Thrashers to a 5-4 victory over Toronto with a decisive shootout goal. Kovalchuck also had an assist and scored Atlanta's second goal of  the game, keeping things competitive despite a Leaf's goal 13 seconds into the first and another with 9 seconds left in regulation.

Interim coach Don Waddell described Kovalchuck as having "taken charge of this hockey club, and tonight it was evident from the very first shift that he was going to be a force to be reckoned with." Teammate Todd White, who had his second goal of the season last night, added, "I thought even at 0-6 he was our best player."