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Leafs host Hot-lanta

Monday, 27.10.2003 / 9:23 AM / News
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Leafs host Hot-lanta

GAME: Atlanta Thrashers (4-1-2-1) at Toronto Maple Leafs (4-2-2-0).

TIME: Monday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
The Atlanta Thrashers finally suffered their first regulation loss of the season.

They will look to rebound as they face the streaking Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.

The Thrashers lost 3-2 Saturday to Florida, giving up a third-period goal to the Panthers' Olli Jokinen. Atlanta failed to earn a point in the standings for the first time this season.

Vyacheslav Kozlov and Ilya Kovalchuk each scored in the third period for the Thrashers, who had two ties and one overtime loss coming into the game.

"In the last 40 minutes we came back real strong," Thrashers coach Bob Hartley said. "We generated enough chances to win the game. But the first period cost us the game. We have to learn from that and make some adjustments."

The Thrashers won their first four games of the season, despite playing without Dany Heatley, who collected team-bests of 89 points and 41 goals last season.

Heatley will likely miss most or all of the season with injuries to his jaw, shoulder and knee that he sustained in a car accident less than two weeks before Atlanta's season opener. The wreck also claimed the life of teammate Dan Snyder.

Goalie Pasi Nurminen has started all eight Atlanta games this season, and the Thrashers have played the same 20 players in each of those contests -- a rare occurrence in hockey.

The Maple Leafs are coming off Saturday's 4-1 win over the Washington Capitals, their third straight victory. They have scored 12 goals in their last three games after scoring just seven in their previous four.

Mats Sundin, who did not record a point in his first five games, scored his first goal of the season and his 300th with the Maple Leafs.

"It's always tough to go through a slump at the start of the year," said Sundin, whose team went 1-2-2 before its winning streak. "Every year you go through period where you are not scoring, but it's a little more exposed when it happens at the start of the year."

Alexander Mogilny, Toronto's leading scorer last season (79 points, including a team-best 46 assists), had two assists in his first game back since sitting out five games with a strained groin.

Defenseman Bryan McCabe, who had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, played in his first game of the season and added a goal and an assist.

Goalie Ed Belfour stopped 39 shots for his 404th win, passing Grant Fuhr for sixth on the career wins list. He is three shy of Glenn Hall, who ranks fifth.

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