Friday, December 28, 2007
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ATLANTA - Nathan Horton scored two goals for the first time since last March to help the Florida Panthers beat the Thrashers 5-3 on Thursday night and end a 10-game losing streak in Atlanta.
Ilya Kovalchuk scored his league-leading 30th and 31st goals in the third period for the Thrashers, but Jay Bouwmeester sealed the victory with an empty-netter with 56 seconds remaining.
The Panthers, who snapped a 10-0-1 skid at Philips Arena since November 2003, led 2-0 in the first on goals by Horton and Radek Dvorak.
Kovalchuk made it 2-1 in the first minute of the third, taking Todd White's rebound shot and beating goaltender Tomas Vokoun from the left circle.
Atlanta trailed 4-2 when Kovalchuk had a short-handed goal on a breakaway with 5:27 left in the game.
Ruslan Salei put Florida ahead 3-1 with 16:51 remaining with a slap shot from the top of the right circle.
Mark Recchi scored his fifth goal in nine games with Atlanta on the power play to make it 4-3.
Horton's second goal, his 10th of the season, put the Panthers up 4-2 after his wrister from the left circle appeared to glance off goalie Kari Lehtonen's glove.
Atlanta lost its second straight to fall two points behind the Panthers and into third place in the Southeast Division. Florida has won four of five.