Johan Hedberg was so busy during the game, he deserved the break he got in the shootout.
Hedberg made a career-best 46 saves and then was perfect in two shootout rounds to lift the visiting Atlanta Thrashers to a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers last night.
Captain Ilya Kovalchuk and Vyacheslav Kozlov scored on the Thrashers' only shootout shots against Henrik Lundqvist. Hedberg made a pad save on NHL-leading goal scorer Marian Gaborik in the first round, then watched the puck slide off the stick of Ales Kotalik before he could muster an attempt.
"It just jumped on him," Hedberg said. "You kind of feel for the guy who wants to get a fair chance."
Kozlov and Colby Armstrong gave Atlanta a pair of one-goal leads in regulation, yet the credit went to Hedberg.
"He was our leader," Kovalchuk said. "He was outstanding. He was the best player in the game."
Ryan Callahan and Gaborik - with his 23rd goal - had power-play tallies to get New York even twice. Rookie defenseman Michael Del Zotto had two assists.
New York recorded a season high in shots, but lost for the seventh time in eight games (1-5-2). The Rangers scored fewer than three goals for the 11th time in 13 games.
"I think everybody is mad," Lundqvist said. "I walk around angry that we are not getting the wins. I try to use it as a good thing, but of course it's frustrating."
Hedberg is 3-0 in shootouts, allowing only one goal in eight attempts. Lundqvist fell to 2-1.
"We've got to keep doing the right things, keep playing like we're playing," captain Chris Drury said. "If we keep getting over 30 shots, something is going to give."
Hedberg made 16 saves in the first period, 18 in the second, and 12 combined in the third and OT.
"I did see the puck well and we were clearing out rebounds," Hedberg said. "It might be a little deceptive to see the other team shooting and shooting, but if you look at Henrik, there were some huge saves on his side, too."
"It was very big for us," Thrashers coach John Anderson said. "We want to be on the winning track. Two games in a row is good."
In other games:
* At Vancouver, Sami Salo scored a power-play goal late in the first period and the Canucks rolled to a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
* At Columbus, longtime Blue Jackets nemesis Steve Sullivan had three goals for the seventh time in his career, leading the Nashville Predators past the Blue Jackets, 5-3.
* At Uniondale, N.Y., Nathan Horton scored three times for his second career hat trick and the Florida Panthers routed the Islanders, 7-1.
* At Detroit, Jimmy Howard made 30 saves and Kris Newbury, Patrick Eaves and Derek Meech scored to lift the Red Wings over Phoenix, 3-2.
* At Montreal, Clarke MacArthur scored a power-play goal 14:41 into the third period, and the Buffalo Sabres extended their winning streak to four with a 4-3 victory over the Canadiens.
* At Toronto, Francois Beauchemin scored the game-winner early in the third period and Vesa Toskala made 22 saves as the Maple Leafs turned back the Ottawa Senators, 3-2.
* Minnesota placed center Andrew Ebbett on injured reserve because of a concussion.
* Columbus placed right wing Derek Dorsett on injured reserve with a broken hand retroactive to Dec. 12.