ATLANTA (AP) _ Antoine Vermette scored the tie-breaking goal
early in the third period, Brian Elliott won his NHL debut in goal
and the Ottawa Senators remained unbeaten with a 3-1 victory over
the winless Thrashers Wednesday night in Atlanta.
The Senators improved to 5-0, just one win off the franchise
record for most consecutive victories at the start of the season.
Ottawa won its first six games in 2005-06, and began 2000-01 by
going unbeaten in nine.
Atlanta hardly looks like the defending Southeast Division
champion. The Thrashers have lost their first three games, managing
just four goals.
Chris Kelly gave the Senators a quick lead, scoring an
unassisted goal on the first shot of the game. Ilya Kovalchuk tied
it for Atlanta with his first of the season, but Vermette scored
the winner with 18:18 remaining.
Chris Phillips cleared the Ottawa zone with long pass off the
boards, and Vermette hustled past the Thrashers defense to beat
Kari Lehtonen with a blistering shot over the goalie's glove hand
from the left faceoff circle.
Elliott stopped 27 shots, including a brilliant save on Alexei
Zhitnik about a minute after Vermette's goal.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)