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Hedberg's 33 saves lead Thrashers to win over Pens
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ATLANTA — Bryan Little scored a goal, Johan Hedberg made 33 saves, and the Atlanta Thrashers ruined the Pittsburgh Penguins’ hopes of claiming the Atlantic Division title by beating them 1-0 on Saturday night.

The Thrashers also prevented Sidney Crosby from scoring his 50th goal of the season.

The Penguins captain will have one more game — today at the New York Islanders — to try to reach the milestone for the first time. Crosby, in his fifth NHL season, recorded three shots on goal.

Pittsburgh, the defending Stanley Cup champion, will finish second in the Atlantic behind the New Jersey Devils.

Atlanta, which has been eliminated from postseason contention, had lost five straight games. Little netted the only goal 9:26 of the second period.

Pittsburgh had won eight straight over the Thrashers and was coming off a 4-2 homestand. The Penguins appeared to lose focus after Crosby objected to a check into the boards by rookie Evander Kane midway through the first period. Crosby was penalized for cross-checking Kane at 10:24.

Kane was behind Pittsburgh’s net over 4 minutes later when Michael Rupp was given a 10-minute misconduct and Eric Godard was called for roughing.

Penguins forward Matt Cooke skated off under his own power after a fight with Kane left him on his back for several minutes early in the second.

Cooke was the third of four Penguins skaters penalized for tangling with Kane, who appeared to anger the Penguins for hitting Crosby into the boards twice in the first period.

Cooke elbowed Kane 1:59 into the second. After both players took off their gloves near center ice, the 18-year-old Kane landed two hard right punches to Cooke’s face.

Medical personnel brought a stretcher onto the ice as the 31-year-old Cooke laid on his back, seemingly unable to sit up, but the 12-year NHL veteran soon insisted he was strong enough to skate off the ice. He didn’t return.

Kane drew a slashing penalty from Penguins center Tyler Kennedy after Little scored from the bottom of the left circle.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 21 shots for Pittsburgh.

NOTES: Thrashers C Jim Slater (lower body injury) left in the first period and didn’t return. ... Penguins LW Alexei Ponikarovsky served the first of a two-game suspension for boarding New York Islanders forward Josh Bailey on Thursday. ... Pittsburgh LW Chris Kunitz (shoulder) was unable to play. ... Atlanta RW Nik Antropov (lower body) missed his second straight game. He is tied with Maxim Afinogenov for the team lead with 24 goals.
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