ATLANTA (AP) -The Thrashers snapped a five-game losing streak, but Atlanta's 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night might have been costly as leading scorer Ilya Kovalchuk left the game with an apparent knee injury.
Kovalchuk scored his 38th goal, but was forced out of the game for good in the second period. He was injured in a knee-on-knee hit from Pittsburgh's Jarkko Ruutu and made a brief return later in the frame for one shift, but didn't return.
Ruutu received a major penalty for kneeing and was ejected.
Kari Lehtonen stopped 29 shots, losing his shutout bid when Ryan Whitney scored for Pittsburgh with 8:42 left.
Kovalchuk and Bobby Holik scored first-period goals and Eric Perrin and Jim Slater added tallies in the third to give Atlanta a 4-0 lead.
The Penguins fell to 2-2-1 since losing captain Sidney Crosby to a high ankle sprain.
Wild 5, Ducks 1
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Brian Rolston, Marian Gaborik and Mikko Koivu scored less than two minutes apart in the second period, and Minnesota beat Anaheim in the first game for both teams following the All-Star break.
Pierre-Marc Bouchard and James Sheppard also scored for Minnesota, which won its third in four games and sixth in nine.
Anaheim, which got another shaky performance from goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere, lost its fourth straight after a six-game winning streak. The Ducks, whose lone goal came from Corey Perry, have scored five goals during the skid.
Rolston scored his fourth goal in four games 82 seconds into the middle period, Gaborik scored 38 seconds later for his first goal in six games, and Koivu made it 3-0 at 3:18.
Giguere was pulled for the second straight game after allowing three goals on 11 shots, for the Ducks, who started an eight-game, 15-day road trip.
Sabres 1, Panthers 0
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - Thomas Vanek scored a power-play goal in the first minute of the second period and Ryan Miller stopped 32 shots in Buffalo's win over Florida.
It was the Sabres' second victory in two nights after they went into the All-Star break having lost 12 of 14.
Florida fell for the 11th time in 15 home games despite getting 40 saves from All-Star goalie Tomas Vokoun. The Panthers went 10 minutes, 13 seconds without a shot in a span of the first and second periods.
The shutout was Miller's second of the season. He beat Atlanta 6-0 on Oct. 11.
Red Wings 3, Coyotes 2
DETROIT (AP) - Nicklas Lidstrom's goal with 7:28 left completed a comeback and lifted NHL-leading Detroit to its fifth straight win.
Lidstrom also had two assists, and Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Holmstrom scored the other goals. Pavel Datsyuk had three assists and Chris Osgood made 32 saves, including stopping Shane Doan on a breakaway with 30 seconds left.
Martin Hanzal and Ed Jovanovski scored for Phoenix and Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 36 shots.
Avalanche 6, Blackhawks 3
DENVER (AP) - Marek Svatos scored twice and scoring-challenged Colorado broke through against Chicago's Nikolai Khabibulin.
The injury-riddled Avalanche have had trouble putting the puck in the net with Joe Sakic (hernia), Ryan Smyth (ankle) and Paul Stastny (appendectomy) sidelined, but they scored three times in the first period off Khabibulin, who hasn't won since Dec. 26 against Nashville.
Milan Hejduk started it off with a wrist shot from the left circle that he flipped over Khabibulin's glove. Svatos added a goal two minutes later, and with 90 seconds left in the first period, Brad Richardson sent a one-timer between Khabibulin's pads for his second goal of the season and first since Nov. 24.
That gave the Avalanche their most goals in a period since they scored five in the second against St. Louis on Dec. 9. The six goals represented their highest output since that night when they scored nine against the Blues.
Flames 5, Sharks 4
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) - Owen Nolan's hat trick lifted Calgary to its fourth straight victory.
Nolan capped off his first three-goal game since Oct. 4, 1999, at 10:45 of the third period when he broke to the net and neatly tucked a rebound past Evgeni Nabokov from in close.
The goal, which gave the Flames a 5-2 lead, completed Nolan's 11th NHL hat trick and stood up as the game-winner.
San Jose got goals from Patrick Rissmiller and Jonathan Cheechoo 59 seconds apart in the final two minutes to draw the Sharks within one.
However, they couldn't get the tying goal past Miikka Kiprusoff, despite pulling Nabokov for an extra skater for the final 61 seconds.
Kiprusoff finished with 27 saves. Wayne Primeau and Dion Phaneuf also scored for Calgary.
Patrick Marleau and Tomas Plihal, with his first NHL goal, scored for the Sharks, who lost in regulation on the road for the second time in 17 games (13-2-2).

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