Thrashers vs. Hurricanes
When: 7 p.m. Thursday
Where: Philips Arena, Atlanta
TV, radio: SportSouth; 680-AM
Web site: www.atlantathrashers.com
ATLANTA — Ilya Kovalchuk scored two goals, giving him 30 for the season, and the Atlanta Thrashers beat Toronto 4-3 on Tuesday night to extend the Maple Leafs' road woes.
The Thrashers scored four straight goals after Alexei Ponikarovsky's two first-period goals in a span of 32 seconds.
Rich Peverley's power-play goal 28 seconds into the third period broke a 2-2 tie. Kovalchuk's second goal gave Atlanta a 4-2 lead 4:20 into the third period.
Toronto's Niklas Hagman scored 1:23 later, but Ondrej Pavelec, who stopped 37 shots, held on for his third win in his past four starts.
Vesa Toskala stopped 28 shots in his first regulation loss in nine career games against Atlanta.
Kovalchuk and Evander Kane had second-period goals for Atlanta.
Toronto has allowed 13 goals in the first three games of its five-game road trip. It leads the league with 177 goals allowed.
The Maple Leafs have won only two of their last 12 road games, including their 4-3 win at Nashville on Monday night.
Ponikarovsky continued his history of strong play against the Thrashers. He had two goals and an assist in Toronto's 5-2 home win over the Thrashers on Dec. 7. He has 15 goals — more than against any other team — in 21 career games against Atlanta.
Kovalchuk, who had a streak of goals in three straight games end with Monday night's 1-0 loss at Florida, fired a shot from beyond the left circle past Toskala for the Thrashers' first goal 2:43 into the second period. His third-period goal was deflected into the net off Toskala's pads.
Garnet Exelby, who played for Atlanta from 2002-09, made his return to Philips Arena with the Maple Leafs.
NOTES: Toskala fell to 6-1-2 against the Thrashers. ... Kane ended a streak of eight games without a goal. ... Thrashers C Todd White (knee) missed his fourth straight game. D Christoph Schubert was a scratch for the second straight game after suffering a knee injury Saturday against Carolina. ... Pavelec is 3-0-1 in his past four starts.