for this game

Gagne, York help Flyers remain perfect vs. Thrashers

Feb 4, 2007 - 5:24 AM
ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Every team has an opponent it struggles against, no matter how bad that opponent is playing. The thorn in the foot of the Atlanta Thrashers resides in the City of Brotherly Love.

All-Star Simon Gagne scored the tying goal 87 seconds into the third period and Mike York snapped the deadlock less than a minute later as the lowly Philadelphia Flyers rallied for four tallies in the third period en route to a 5-2 triumph over the Thrashers.

With the win, just their 13th in 52 games this season, the Flyers improved to 3-0-0 against the Thrashers in 2006-07 and 5-0-0 in the last five meetings overall.

"Sometimes it just goes that way," Flyers captain Peter Forsberg said. "I don't think it's anything specific. Sometimes you get the bounces against some teams, and I think we've been getting the bounces against this team all year, so it's been great."

"I don't know why, I really don't," added Philadelphia goaltender Antero Niittymaki, who made 32 saves in relief of Robert Esche. "I would like to know so maybe I would play well like that against everyone, but I haven't figured it out yet. I'm trying, trust me."

Philadelphia also raised its all-time mark at Atlanta to 11-2-1.

"It's been a good place for us to play," said Philadelphia's Sami Kapanen, who recorded an assist. "Any wins we can get right now are welcome. I don't think we played well in the first two periods, but we found a way in the third period to get a couple of goals and win the game."

"They're better than their record shows," Atlanta's Jim Slater said. "They've got good lines, good D. They play hard. (But) it's more our breakdowns than anything."

Trailing, 2-1, after 40 minutes, the Flyers were uncharacteristically impressive in the final period. Gagne began the rare outburst at 1:27, converting a cross-slot pass by Forsberg from the bottom of the right faceoff circle to knot the game.

"I think our line, the last three or four games, we're scoring goals," Forsberg said. "(Mike) Knuble got two last game and we're playing like we did last year. ... It's fun for us to be out there now, but we have to keep working and getting better."

The assist by Forsberg was the 605th of his career, moving him past Hall of Famer Michel Goulet for 67th on the all-time list.

Just 57 seconds afterward, York batted a puck out of mid-air and off the left shoulder of goaltender Kari Lehtonen for his eighth goal of the season and second as a Flyer. The tally originally was waved off, but replay officials took a lengthy look at the play before deeming York did not have his stick above the crossbar.

"My eyes lied a little bit there," Lehtonen said. "I thought it was a high stick, but when I saw the replay, it was a good goal."

Jeff Carter, who scored both goals in a 2-1 victory at Atlanta on January 28, gave Philadelphia breathing room by scoring on a shorthanded breakaway with 5:57 remaining.

"We missed a couple of assignments on their second and third goals, and that's where we got in trouble and didn't give ourselves a chance to win," Thrashers coach Bob Hartley said. "We are capable of playing better defense, and we need to."

Defenseman Alexei Zhitnik added an empty-netter and Knuble recorded his 100th point with the team with an assist for the Flyers, who won for the first time in 28 games when trailing after two periods.

"It's not too often you come back from being down after the second period," Forsberg said. "I think we deserved to win. We've been battling and we've been losing every third period, so I think it was our time to win this game. We got a little luck on the way, but it was great for us."

Ilya Kovalchuk netted his 30th goal for Atlanta, which has lost three of its last four overall.

"We just need to play all 60 minutes," Kovalchuk said. "We played 40 and were leading, 2-1. We need to get those kind of games."

Dmitry Afanasenkov gave Philadelphia a 1-0 lead at 2:41 of the first with his second goal in as many games. After Lehtonen turned over the puck behind his own net, tough guy Todd Fedoruk passed it to Afanasenkov, who buried a shot from the slot.

But Kovalchuk forged a tie 55 seconds later, beating Esche on a breakaway for his seventh tally in six games.

"We were doing good the first two periods," Lehtonen said. "I gave one goal up early trying to handle the puck, but we came back well to get the 2-1 lead."

Niittymaki replaced Esche just over three minutes afterward but yielded Slater's second goal in two contests at 3:37 of the second, which gave Atlanta a 2-1 edge.

The Thrashers nearly doubled their lead with just over two minutes to go in the session, but defenseman Shane Hnidy hit the left goalpost on a solo rush after exiting the penalty box.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 1 0 4 5
    ATLANTA 1 1 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - DMITRY AFANASENKOV 5 (TODD FEDORUK) 2:41
    ATL - ILYA KOVALCHUK 30 (JON SIM) 3:36
    2ND PRD: ATL - JIM SLATER 5 (GLEN METROPOLIT) 3:37
    3RD PRD: PHI - SIMON GAGNE 24 (PETER FORSBERG, MIKE KNUBLE) 1:27
    PHI - MIKE YORK

    Feb 3 9:31 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 5
    ATLANTA 2
    3RD PRD: PHI - (EN) ALEXEI ZHITNIK 5 (SAMI KAPANEN) 18:56

    Flyers vs. ThrashersFeb 3 9:30 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 4
    ATLANTA 2
    3RD PRD: PHI - (SH) JEFF CARTER 8 (UNASSISTED) 14:03

    Flyers vs. ThrashersFeb 3 9:21 PM
  • 0
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 35 roots

    Flyers vs. ThrashersFeb 3 9:21 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots

    Flyers vs. ThrashersFeb 3 9:16 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 3
    ATLANTA 2
    3RD PRD: PHI - MIKE YORK 8 (DERIAN HATCHER, DMITRY AFANASENKOV) 2:24

    Flyers vs. ThrashersFeb 3 9:01 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 2
    ATLANTA 2
    3RD PRD: PHI - SIMON GAGNE 24 (PETER FORSBERG, MIKE KNUBLE) 1:27

    Flyers vs. ThrashersFeb 3 8:56 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 1 0 1
    ATLANTA 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - DMITRY AFANASENKOV 5 (TODD FEDORUK) 2:41
    ATL - ILYA KOVALCHUK 30 (JON SIM) 3:36
    2ND PRD: ATL - JIM SLATER 5 (GLEN METROPOLIT) 3:37
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHI

    Feb 3 8:36 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    ATLANTA 2
    2ND PRD: ATL - JIM SLATER 5 (GLEN METROPOLIT) 3:37

    Flyers vs. ThrashersFeb 3 8:08 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 1 1
    ATLANTA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - DMITRY AFANASENKOV 5 (TODD FEDORUK) 2:41
    ATL - ILYA KOVALCHUK 30 (JON SIM) 3:36
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHI 9 9
    ATL 14 14
    GO

    Feb 3 7:44 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    ATLANTA 1
    1ST PRD: ATL - ILYA KOVALCHUK 30 (JON SIM) 3:36

    Flyers vs. ThrashersFeb 3 7:18 PM