- The Washington Times - Monday, March 16, 2009

ATLANTA (AP) - Kari Lehtonen made a career-high 49 saves, and Slava Kozlov and Tobias Enstrom each had a goal and an assist to help the Atlanta Thrashers win a team-record sixth straight game, 5-1 over the Washington Capitals on Monday night.

Washington, which ranks second in the Eastern Conference and is tied for third overall with 229 goals, had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Lehtonen, who faced a career-high 50 shots, nearly earned his third shutout in five starts, but Eric Fehr spoiled the bid with 1:15 remaining when he swept in his 11th goal.

Alex Ovechkin, the NHL’s leading goal scorer and the reigning MVP, was held without a point for the first time in 11 games and the second time in 22. He has 35 points and 22 goals in his last 25 games, and needs one more goal to reach 50 this season.

The Thrashers have won two straight without captain Ilya Kovalchuk, who has an undisclosed upper body injury. Kovalchuk is fourth in the NHL with 36 goals.

Washington missed a chance to tie a franchise record, set in 1983-84, with six consecutive road victories.

Colby Armstrong scored his 17th goal by redirecting Rich Peverley’s wrister 10:13 into the first for a 1-0 Thrashers lead.

After Kozlov made it 2-0 with his 20th goal 15:43 into the first, rookie Anssi Salmela used a backhanded wrister from the top of the slot for his first career NHL goal. That gave the Thrashers a 3-0 lead 7:18 into the second.

Nearly five minutes later, Capitals goalie Jose Theodore was chased when Enstrom scored his fourth goal with a slap shot from above the right circle for his fourth goal.

Washington, which has the NHL’s second-best power play, went 0-for-4 with an extra man. Atlanta was 3-for-4 with the advantage.

Eric Perrin’s sixth goal ended the scoring for Atlanta with 3:22 remaining.

Notes:@ Lehtonen’s previous high for saves was 46 in a 5-1 win at Detroit on Jan. 15, 2008. He faced 49 shots in a 4-1 loss at the New York Islanders on Feb. 16, 2008. … Kovalchuk declined to answer when asked his status before the game. … Playing his 190th straight game, Kozlov tied former Thrashers C Bobby Holik for the longest streak in the team’s 10-year history. Kozlov has 17 points, including two goals, in his last 17 games. … The Capitals dropped to 12-4-2 in their last 18 on the road. … Atlanta D Ron Hainsey sustained a leg injury and didn’t return.

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