Kozlov sinks Sens

DON BRENNAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:09 AM ET

ATLANTA -- The Senators have had about enough of Slava Kozlov for awhile.

The veteran Atlanta Thrasher scored his third game-winning goal against Ottawa this season to help his team to a 4-2 victory over the Senators before 16,190 fans at Philips Arena last night.

Kozlov now has seven of his team's 15 goals on Senators goalies in 2006-07.

The loss snapped a three- game Ottawa winning streak.

The Senators, who entered the evening with a 28-4-1 record when leading after two periods, let this one get away from them as Atlanta scored three unanswered goals.

"We were forechecking and skating so much better than them in the second," said Senators coach Bryan Murray. "We let them have a controlled breakout in the third to give them a chance to get some momentum.

"Once they got ahead, they backed up and shut us down. They got behind defencemen twice to score. That shouldn't happen, really."

They lost a 2-1 lead early in the third period on a goal that likely would have been avoided had Mike Fisher finished his check behind the Atlanta goal.

Allowed to keep the puck, Andy Sutton took a few strides and sent a long pass to Eric Belanger, who sped around Andrej Meszaros and beat Ray Emery.

Former Senators star Marian Hossa picked up his second assist of the night -- and 10th in four games against his old team this season -- on Atlanta's go-ahead goal at 9:04 of the third.

A determined Hossa fended off Wade Redden and Meszaros deep in Ottawa territory before pushing the puck to Kozlov. His shot somehow made it through a crowd in front of Emery and finally past the goalie himself.

Pascal Dupuis added an insurance marker with just under five minutes to play.

Dany Heatley scored both Ottawa goals to give him 40 on the season.

"I thought we were playing pretty well, in the second period especially we had our way with them and could've been up 4-1," said Heatley. "We've been really good in the third. To give up three goals is unacceptable."

Jason Spezza wore the horns as Atlanta opened the scoring near the midway point of the first period. His soft pass intended for Meszaros inside the Ottawa line wound up with Belanger, and the former Hurricane centre then took a couple of quick strides before beating Emery with a wrist shot high to the glove side.

Heatley, who was booed in his fourth return to Philips Arena, brought the Senators even before the intermission, just 26 seconds after Garnet Exelby went off for dumping Chris Neil after a whistle. Heatley's 39th was either a great shot or some poor goaltending, as he took a couple of strides in from the left-wing boards before sending a wrist shot at Kari Lehtonen that dribbled between the goalie's pads and over the line.

Heatley's second of the night was much more convincing. Again on the power play, he drilled a slap shot by Lehtonen at 4:37 of the second period to give Ottawa a lead that held until Belanger's second goal.

The only cheer for Heatley all night came a few moments after his second goal. It wasn't in response to the announcement, but to a Bobby Holik hit that put Heatley on the ice.

The Senators spent last night in Atlanta and this morning will charter to Chicago, where they face Martin Havlat and the Blackhawks tomorrow afternoon.


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