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NHL: Kovalchuk Leads Thrashers to Victory Over Penguins


Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk scored three goals for his second hat trick of the National Hockey League season as his Thrashers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-4 Friday.

Kovalchuk also surpassed Philadelphia's Simon Gagne as the NHL's leading scorer, with a total of 30 goals. Atlanta almost blew a 5-0 lead on its home ice when the Penguins came alive to score four consecutive goals in the third period.

Gagne scored his 29th goal of the season in the Flyers' 3-1 win over the Washington Capitals. Gagne also contributed an assist. Philadelphia has won its last three games, and eight of its last 10, while Washington continues to struggle, dropping four of its last five contests.

Calgary goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 27 shots for his NHL-leading sixth shutout of the season as his Flames blanked the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs 1-0. Kiprusoff also leads the league in victories with 22. Tony Amonte scored the game's only goal. The Flames' victory snapped the Leafs' six-game winning streak.

Other NHL winners Friday were the Hurricanes, Red Wings and Stars. The Carolina Hurricanes skated past the New York Islanders 4-1. The powerful Detroit Red Wings defeated the Nashville Predators 3-1, and the Dallas Stars won a shootout with Anaheim to beat the Mighty Ducks 4-3.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, and Reuters.
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