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Associated Press
10/19/2006 10:57:37 PM

ATLANTA (AP) - The Atlanta Thrashers are off to their best start ever and starting to look like one tough team.

Vyacheslav Kozlov and Marian Hossa each scored in a shootout to give Atlanta a 4-3 win over the Washington Capitals on Thursday night.

The Thrashers have won five of their last six games and are in first place in the Southeast Division with 11 of a possible 14 points after seven games.

"We never quit. That's what is big about this team," said Hossa, who had a pair of goals and an assist in regulation. "We showed a lot of character and got a big two points."

Kozlov beat Capitals goaltender Brent Johnson to open the shootout. Thrashers goalie Kari Lehtonen then stopped Alexander Semin before Hossa beat Johnson. Lehtonen blocked Alex Ovechkin's shot to finish off the 2-0 shootout.

"I yelled when he (Ovechkin) missed it. I didn't say anything," Lehtonen said. "I just yelled. I was so happy to get those two points."

Hossa got the tying goal with 33 seconds left in regulation to send it into overtime. His seventh goal came when he took a pass from Ilya Kovalchuk and knocked it over the right shoulder of Johnson.

Ovechkin scored in a three-goal Washington second period to give the Capitals a 3-2 lead at 15:48.

"I gave up a couple of easy goals in the second period. They kind of stole the lead. That was frustrating to me," Lehtonen said.

The Thrashers jumped in front with a power-play goal in the first period. Hossa redirected a shot by Kovalchuk past Johnson, making only his second start, at the 5:02 mark. It came only 14 seconds after the Capitals' Kris Beech was penalized for holding.

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