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Mason, Thrashers shut out Flyers

Apr 1, 2011 - 3:55 AM Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Chris Mason stopped all 43 shots he faced for his first shutout of the season, as the Atlanta Thrashers kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a 1-0 victory over Philadelphia.

"I just felt really comfortable and I felt I was tracking the puck real well," Mason said about the first time in a Thrashers uniform that he was able to blank the opposition. "The guys did a good job letting me see shots; I felt I had a good beat on the puck tonight."

Nik Antropov registered the lone goal for the Thrashers, who were in line to be eliminated from playoff contention with a loss but responded with their third win in five games.

Sergei Bobrovsky made 21 saves in defeat for the Flyers, who couldn't sustain the momentum from Tuesday's big road win in Pittsburgh.

Coupled with the Capitals' overtime win over Columbus, Philadelphia now holds a one-point edge over Washington (102-101) in the race for the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

"You know I guess when it comes to our home building and our fans, you never want to lose," said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette after his team dropped its seventh home game in their last eight. "Concern of the big picture, probably not that much, but concern that we lost tonight. We needed two points, our organization, our building, our fans; that's disappointing a little bit."

Antropov finally broke the scoreless deadlock with 9:38 left in regulation, when Evander Kane's centering feed from behind the net ticked off the skate of the Kazakhstan native and in. A brief review upheld the call on the ice.

"I think it was (Mike) Richards (who) dumped the puck across the goal in the corner," Antropov said. "Kaner (Evander Kane) picked it up and he got so much space so I just drove to the net and fortunately it hit me in the center of the skate, I was trying to stop so there was no kicking motion obviously."

Bobrovsky was summoned to the bench with over a minute to play, then after coincidental minors were called with 46 seconds left, the Flyers skated 5- on-4, and nearly tied the game in the final seconds.

Jeff Carter was alone on the right side with six ticks left, but Mason slid across the crease to shut off the near side, and Carter was only able to hit the post.

Philly tested Mason 10 times in the first period, 14 times in the second and 19 times in the third to no avail. Bobrovsky was solid on six first-period chances by Atlanta and on eight more in the middle 20 minutes.

Game Notes

Atlanta took three of four in the season series and has won seven of its last eight meetings with Philadelphia since the start of last season...Mason has 21 career whitewashes...The 43 shots in a shutout loss were the most for Philadelphia since taking 44 in a 6-0 home loss to Washington on December 21, 1980...The Flyers travel to New Jersey on Friday and the Thrashers head to Boston on Saturday.