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Detroit 6, Atlanta 2
Posted: Saturday February 15, 2003 11:27 PM
Detroit Red Wings
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Atlanta Thrashers
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ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Brett Hull and the Detroit Red Wings continued their mastery of coach Bob Hartley and the Atlanta Thrashers.

Hull scored twice in the second period and recorded a season-high four points as the Red Wings extended their winning streak to three games with a 6-2 rout of the struggling Thrashers.

Hull bookended a four-goal outburst during an 8:10 span of the second as the Red Wings put together three straight victories for the first time since winning four in a row from December 21-28.

"I think we're starting to do the little things better," Red Wings coach Dave Lewis said. "When you do a bunch of little things better, usually at the end of the night it's a pretty good result."

The sixth player in NHL history to score 700 goals, Hull squeezed a snap shot between the pads of goaltender Byron Dafoe just 76 seconds into the middle period to tie it at 1-1.

"We just kept playing our game," Hull said. "That's all you can do. We got some good breaks and the pucks went in."

The veteran sniper tapped in a power-play goal at 9:26 to open a 4-1 cushion for the Red Wings, who won for the sixth time in as many all-time meetings with the Thrashers.

Hull has six goals and three assists in five career games vs. Atlanta.

Brendan Shanahan and Boyd Devereaux got the other goals in the second period and Sergei Fedorov chipped in two assists. Pavel Datsyuk and Luc Robitaille capped the scoring in the third.

Per Svartvadet scored his first goal of the season and Patrik Stefan added his career-high 11th, but the Thrashers wasted a 5-on-3 power play in the opening period and had their winless streak reach four games (0-3-1).

"I felt like we had a big jump in the first period," Stefan said. "We had 14 or 15 shots against them, which is huge, and we had a 1-0 lead. It seems like in the second period it just turned around and they had so many chances and we kind of stood back."

"We wanted to get a good start, but to kill a 5-on-3 was big for us," said Detroit's Curtis Joseph, who made 26 saves. "That was huge for us to get out of the period with just one. Then we got some key goals. Big second period."

Hartley was facing the Red Wings for the first time since being fired as the coach of the Colorado Avalanche in December. The Hartley-led Avalanche were 6-11-0 in the regular season against the Red Wings and lost to Detroit in seven games in last year's Western Conference finals.

"Those guys are the Stanley Cup champions and they have lots of experience," Hartley said. "Once they get the lead, they play very smart. They know every shortcut out there and they shut us down. We kept fighting, we had a couple of decent chances, but it was too late."

The Thrashers had a 1-0 lead when Dafoe conceded two shaky goals.

Hull was skating up the left side when he let go a shot from the faceoff circle. Dafoe got to the left goalpost, but the puck sneaked under him.

"If you don't score on a 5-on-3, you're never going to win," Hull said. "So it's good when you can kill them off. It gives you a good boost."

Just over six minutes later, Kirk Maltby turned and fired a shot off the right boards. Dafoe turned the puck aside, but Shanahan squeezed another shot between his pads.

Devereaux's third goal of the season increased the lead to 3-1 at 9:05 and chased Dafoe, who stopped 12 of 15 shots.

Dafoe struggled for a second straight start. He lasted just one period on Wednesday against Washington and coughed up five goals on 13 shots.

"The two games were tough outings for me," Dafoe said. "Why is this happening? I don't know. If I knew that, I'd be a genius. I just have to work hard and play myself through it. I've been in this situation in the past. Many goaltenders have, and the key is to end it as soon as possible."

Dafoe returned to start the third against Detroit after Pasi Nurminen suffered a left groin injury.

But Nurminen was on the ice long enough to be victimized by Hull. On the power play, defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom feigned a shot and fed Hull, who redirected the puck past the hapless Finn.