WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Atlanta Thrashers are dedicating their
games to Dan Snyder and Dany Heatley.
So far, they have all been wins.
Ronald Petrovicky scored twice as Atlanta won in Washington for
the first time, defeating the Capitals 4-3 Saturday night.
Randy Robitaille and Ilya Kovalchuk also scored for the
Thrashers, who were playing their first game since Snyder's funeral
on Friday in Elmira, Ont. Snyder died Oct. 5, six days after he
sustained a severe brain injury when a Ferrari driven by Heatley
crashed on a narrow city street.
Heatley, the MVP of last season's 2003 NHL All-Star game, was
injured in the crash and is out indefinitely after having knee
surgery last week. He is also facing criminal charges.
"We've got to support Dany Heatley. He's going to have a tough
time, but he's got to get through it," Petrovicky said.
"Hopefully, he will as time gets on.
"The best thing to try and do is win the game, show support
that way. We're going to work hard for those two guys and if we
come out with victories every time, that would be a blessing."
Robitaille added two assists for the Thrashers who were 0-7-2-1
in Washington since entering the NHL. Atlanta is off to a 2-0 start
for the first time in the franchise's five seasons.
"It's good for the confidence, there's only two games played,"
Atlanta coach Bob Hartley said. "We have to keep building. We're a
young hockey club, we're showing lots of pride, we're working well.
But there's still 80 games and a long road ahead."
Capitals goalie Olaf Kolzig noticed the Thrashers had some extra
"They played with a lot of heart and a lot of emotion," Kolzig
said. "I don't know if we forgot about that part of the game."
The Capitals lost defenseman Brendan Witt midway through the
first period after a face-first tumble into the boards. Witt, who
lay motionless on the ice for several minutes before being helped
to the locker room, had a bloody nose, facial injuries and was to
be examined after the game.
"The whole game turned around there," Washington coach Bruce
Cassidy said. "Whether that was Brendan Witt's injury or whether
the defense got exposed, I couldn't tell you. ... We had some guys
put under pressure who didn't handle it well."
Gordon opened the scoring with his first NHL goal 3:11 into the
game. Jagr was denied at the right post and got checked into goalie
Pasi Nurminen. The puck squirted to Gordon, the trailer on the
Petrovicky, a waiver draft acquisition from the New York Rangers
on Oct. 3, and Robitaille scored a little more than three minutes
apart, putting the Thrashers ahead 2-1.
After Gonchar's power-play one-timer from the left point tied
the game 47 seconds into the second period, Petrovicky restored the
Thrashers lead at 1:56, putting the puck between Kolzig's right
skate and the left post.
A turnover by Washington's Peter Bondra sprung a two-on-none
break that Kovalchuk finished off for a 4-2 lead at 5:21.
Jagr got Washington within 4-3 with 2:49 left in regulation.
The Thrashers had one third-period shot. ... Robitaille's
three points tied a career-high. ... Kovalchuk has seven goals in
11 games against the Capitals. ... When Washington's scratches were
displayed on the scoreboard before the game, they included D Ken
Klee, who departed the team after last season as a free agent and
now plays for Toronto. ... Pending a final medical report on Witt,
Cassidy said the Capitals would add a defenseman for a six-game
road trip that begins in Toronto on Monday.