Uniondale, New York:Atlanta's Lehtonen posts 4-0 shutout of Islanders hours after returning to NHL Kari Lehtonen couldn't have scripted a sweeter NHL comeback.
Lehtonen, who had been sidelined by a groin injury, turned aside 33 shots in his first NHL appearance in six weeks in the Atlanta Thrashers' 4-0 win against the New York Islanders on Saturday.
"I don't think you can ask for anything better than what happened to Kari," Atlanta coach Don Waddell said. "He was on top of his game."
Lehtonen, who got his first shutout this season and eighth in his career, lost his first four decisions before being placed on injured reserve. He missed 16 games, dating to October 18, before being recalled from AHL Chicago earlier Saturday.
Lehtonen won his two AHL starts, posting a 1.93 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage.
The Islanders didn't register their first shot on Lehtonen until more than seven minutes had been played.
They came close to breaking Lehtonen's shutout bid with 9:30 left during a power play, but Marc-Andre Bergeron's shot from the right point hit the left post.