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Associated Press
12/2/2006 10:28:35 PM


SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - Glen Metropolit scored the tiebreaking goal in the second period and Kari Lehtonen had 27 saves to help the Atlanta Thrashers to a 3-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.

Jean-Pierre Vigier and Ilya Kovalchuk also scored for Atlanta, which won its fourth straight game and fifth in a row against Florida. The Thrashers are 5-0-1 in their last six games.

Olli Jokinen scored for Florida and Ed Belfour stopped 23 shots. The Panthers have lost a season-high six straight games, their longest winless streak since going 0-6-1 from March 19-29, 2003.

The Thrashers took a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal at 4:01 of the second. Bobby Holik's shot from the right circle went behind the net and drifted back in front of the crease. Metropolit came from behind and slid the puck past Belfour.

Kovalchuk scored an empty-net goal at 19:25 of the third.

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