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Thrashers give up three-goal lead

3/13/2002

ATLANTA (AP) -- Playing their first game without leading
goal-scorer Ilya Kovalchuk, the Atlanta Thrashers had little
trouble on offense.

Holding a three-goal lead was another story.

Dan Boyle scored with 11:55 left in regulation as the Tampa Bay
Lightning rallied from a three-goal deficit to tie Atlanta 4-4
Tuesday night, negating a two-goal effort by Lubos Bartecko.

Kovalchuk, who has 29 goals, is likely sidelined for the season
with a dislocated shoulder.

"We had a pretty good two periods," Bartecko said. "We were
not so good the last period. That's the game, and you've got to
move on ... When you score four goals you've got to get two
points."

Bartecko's second goal gave Atlanta a 4-1 lead at 8:03 of the
second period, though it was a gift. The puck hit the skate of
Boyle, and it went into the net.

Martin Cibak, Dave Andreychuk and Ben Clymer also had goals for
the Lightning, who scored twice in the third period to avoid their
third loss in four games.

Boyle's game-tying goal atoned for his "assist" on Bartecko's
score.

"That's a team we've got to beat," Boyle said. "If you want
to earn respect around the league, those are the teams you have to
beat."

Boyle tapped in the puck after it had bounced off Atlanta goalie
Milan Hnilicka, who turned away 38 shots as Tampa outshot Atlanta
42-26.

"I was moving to my right," Hnilicka said. "He rebounded it
right away. He caught me reacting to the first shot."

Atlanta snapped a three-game losing streak. Brian Pothier and
Pascal Rheaume also scored for the Thrashers.

Bartecko and Rheaume scored goals in the first 1:22 for the
Thrashers, a club record.

Bartecko took a crossing pass from Dany Heatley and scored from
the left circle 22 seconds in -- the second-fastest goal in club
history, and Rheaume scored unassisted from the almost same spot a
minute later.

Cibak scored his first career goal at 15:17, taking the puck in
the slot on a rebound and tapping it past Hnilicka to close the
Lightning's gap to 2-1.

Pothier scored at 18:32 and then Bartecko's second goal gave
Atlanta a 4-1 lead.

Andreychuk cut the lead to 4-2 with a power-play goal at 9:25 of
the second period. It marked the seventh straight game in which the
Lightning scored a power-play goal.

Clymer's goal from the right side of the slot pulled Tampa
within one with 16:25 left.

Game notes
Tampa center Brad Richards recorded an assist in the second
period, extending his scoring streak to seven games. ... Atlanta's
Todd Reirden was hit in the mouth by a puck in the first period. He
left the game, but returned returning in the second period before
sitting out the third. Reirden experienced headaches, but an
examination ruled out a concussion.