Senators Thrash Atlanta

Lightning flashes over Maquoketa, Iowa, Sunday, March 12, 2006, as heavy storms pass through the area.
AP/Quad-City Times, Kevin Schmidt

For a center with only 16 goals in his previous two NHL seasons, Vaclav Prospal was thrilled to get two in one period Thursday night.

The 22-year-old Czech forward added an assist as the Ottawa Senators scored five goals in the second period to tie a team record and beat the Atlanta Thrashers 6-3.

"That doesn't happen that much in this league," Prospal said. "There's not that much scoring."

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  • Ottawa, which had lost three straight and four of five games, overcame a 3-0 first-period deficit with its five-goal second period against Atlanta goalie Scott Langkow.

    Wade Redden, Andre Roy and Magnus Arvedson also scored in second period for Ottawa, which also had five-goal periods in a 9-3 victory over Tampa Bay on March 8 and a 7-1 victory over St. Louis on Feb. 20, 1996. Radek Bonk added a third-period goal.

    "We feel like we have a system that can be effective if our players execute when they're supposed to," said Ottawa coach Jacques Martin, whose club moved into a first-place tie with Toronto in the Northeast Division.

    "Unfortunately, that doesn't always happen."

    Kelly Buchberger, Ray Ferraro and Andreas Karlsson scored for Atlanta.

    Ottawa, 2-0 with 12 goals against the expansion Thrashers, needed only 9:04 to take a 4-3 lead on Roy's goal from the middle of the slot. Prospal, stationed at the right end of the crease, caught Atlanta defensemen Darryl Shannon and Kevin Dean out of position to put the Senators up 5-3 at 13:12.

    "I was fortunate to be the one to score that goal," Prospal said. "We could have scored 10 or 15 seconds earlier."

    Ottawa goalie Patrick Lalime made 19 saves to improve to 6-3 after replacing Ron Tugnutt to start the second period. Tugnutt surrendered all of the Thrashers' goals on just six shots.

    Redden put Ottawa on the board only 52 seconds into the second period, giving the defenseman seven points in his last 11 games. At the 5:21 mark, Prospal cut the lead to 3-2 on a rebound after Langkow blocked Shawn McEachern's wraparound shot.

    Prospal helped Ottawa tie it at 3 on the power play, faking a wraparound shot and firing a pass across the crease to Arvedson, who slipped the puck between Langkow's legs.

    "A kick in the teeth," Atlanta coach Curt Fraser said. "Another lesson learned. We have to learn how to play defense."

    Langkow, a rookie whose record fell to 2-4 after a 26-save win Monday against Vancouver, made his fourth consecutive start in place of injured starter Damian Rhodes.

    "I'm pretty much speechless," Langkow said. "The last game was a high, and this one is low. I've just got to keep working and be more consistent. I've been really struggling in the second period and I really don't know why."

    Marian Hossa, who scored twice in Ottawa's 6-4 victory in Atlanta on Oct. 31, returned after sitting out one game because of a concussion. Hossa leads the Senators with 11 goals.

    Bonk, Ottawa's points leader with 24, completed the scoring in the third period.

    Buchberger scored Atlanta's first goal by taking a shot off the left boards from Johan Garpenlov and slipping the puck through Tugnutt's legs at the 4:55 mark.

    Less than five minutes later, Ferraro scored his fifth goal of the season after Denny Lambert skated down the right side and passed to his left.

    Karlsson, called up from Orlando of the IHL on Monday, made it 3-0 by firing a shot to the left of Tugnutt from the top of the right circle.

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