The Ottawa Senators came from behind to edge the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday afternoon for their fourth consecutive win.
Dean McAmmond gave Ottawa its first lead of the game with under five minutes remaining, and Mike Fisher added an empty-net goal for a 5-3 win in front of the home fans.
It was the club's first win in three tries against Atlanta this season.
Chris Kelly had a goal and assist, with Peter Schaefer and Mike Comrie also scored for Ottawa (34-22-3).
Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson each had a pair of assists.
"It was a good hurdle for us to get over tonight, by showing that we could beat a physical, hard-hitting team," said Spezza.
Martin Gerber, coming off a shutout, had a game that was a microcosm of his inconsistent season with the Senators. Gerber made 28 saves and bounced back from a shaky second period.
Gerber, who now has five consecutive wins, is guaranteed at least one more start with Ray Emery currently serving a three-game suspension.
The Thrashers have lost four in a row on their Canadian road trip by a combined 17-7 margin. As a result, the team's hold on the Southeast Division lead over Tampa Bay and Carolina is more tenuous than ever.
Steve McCarthy, Glen Metropolit and Slava Kozlov scored for Atlanta (30-22-9). The Thrashers scored on two of three power-play chances.
Kozlov and former Senator Marian Hossa again troubled Ottawa.
Kozlov has six goals and an assist in three games this season against the Senators, while Hossa has a goal and seven assists.
Kari Lehtonen stopped 25 of 29 shots in net, giving up several rebounds. The Finnish netminder has now allowed 29 goals in his last eight starts.
The trend of alternating goals began midway through the first when McCarthy's shot from the point on a power play got through, with help from a Scott Mellanby screen
Ottawa tied the game with just 32 seconds left in the opening period when Schaefer pounced on a rebound from a Spezza slapshot.
Sens struggle in second
Atlanta regained the lead 4:50 into the middle frame when Metropolit picked up a loose puck at the right face-off circle and fired a wrist shot that found room between Gerber and the near post.
Special teams play has been a big factor in Atlanta's recent slide, and the Thrashers blew a chance to keep the momentum going by surrendering a shorthanded goal just over two minutes later.
The Senators quickly moved the puck from their own end, and after Lehtonen gave up a big rebound from an Antoine Vermette slapshot, Kelly made the Atlanta goaltender pay with his 11th of the season.
With less than two minutes left in the period, Gerber allowed a potential backbreaker. Kozlov fired a bad angle shot not far from where Metropolit scored for a power-play marker.
Hossa contributed his second assist on the play.
Gerber rebounds in third
Gerber gave his team a chance to come back in the third, stopping all 11 shots he faced.
Comrie tied it midway through the period when he roofed a rebound from the edge of the crease but a sprawled Lehtonen. The centreman now has four goals in his last six games.
The Atlanta defence later got caught watching Spezza and Dany Heatley operate, allowing McAmmond to skate in to the slot and score his eighth of the season.
"To play with those guys, I just try to do my part and get those guys the puck," McAmmond said. "Spezz had it and he made a great pass and I just tried to find that spot."
Ottawa will host Edmonton before playing a home-and-home against division rival Buffalo later in the week.