for this game

Carter's outburst leads Flyers past Thrashers

Jan 9, 2008 - 4:14 AM
By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Jeff Carter and Scott Hartnell helped keep the Philadelphia Flyers red hot.

Carter scored twice in the span of 13 seconds in the second period and Hartnell notched a goal and two assists to lead the Flyers to a 4-1 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday.

Rookie Steve Downie also tallied and Antero Niittymaki stopped 27 shots for the Flyers, who have won five of their last six games.

"It was a good all-around effort tonight," Philadelphia coach John Stevens said. "I thought our veterans led the way and our young guys played like pros. They played with confidence and they got better as the game went on."

With the game knotted at 1-1, Atlanta's Vyacheslav Kozlov was whistled for a costly slashing penalty.

Philadelphia, the owner of the league's third-best power play entering the contest, cashed in thanks to Hartnell and Carter.

Hartnell dished a backhand pass to the 23-year-old Carter, who lofted a backhander over goaltender Johan Hedberg's left pad from the slot to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead at 13:42 of the middle period.

In a blink of an eye, Carter doubled the lead when he fired a wrist shot over the right shoulder of Hedberg just 13 seconds later for his 16th goal of the season.

"He made a great play right off the faceoff," Hedberg said of the second tally. "Then we were down, 3-1, and had to start playing catch-up hockey."

"The first one was a great play by Hartnell there," Carter said. "I was just hanging out there in the high slot. The second goal was right off the faceoff. I got a good shot and was able to find the net."

Hartnell capped a fruitful four-goal middle session for the Flyers with a shorthanded goal with one second remaining in the period.

Jim Dowd took advantage of Marian Hossa's turnover at Philadelphia's blue line, leading a 2-on-1 rush down the ice before firing a cross-ice pass to Hartnell, who deposited the puck into the vacant side of the net for his 100th career goal.

"We basically knew there wasn't a lot of time left," Hartnell said. "We went hard to the net and I was able to put it in. ... It's a milestone whether it's your first or 100th, or it's (Wayne) Gretzky's 800th."

The three-goal cushion was more than enough for Niittymaki.

Philadelphia's backup goaltender, who was given a second straight start after stopping 54 of a franchise-record 56 shots on Saturday in Toronto, once again was magnificent in net.

The 27-year old Finn won his third consecutive game and improved to 7-0-0 lifetime against Atlanta. Niittymaki has stopped all but three of the last 124 shots he has faced.

"It's never easy, but it's one of the easiest games I've played," Niittymaki said. "I don't think Atlanta was that good. We played our team game."

Ilya Kovalchuk opened the scoring with his league-leading 35th goal at 9:08 of the first period. The Russian superstar put a wrister from the left faceoff circle past Niittymaki and into the top portion of the net to give Atlanta a 1-0 lead.

The much-maligned Downie tied the contest 32 seconds into the second period.

Downie, who narrowly escaped being suspended by the league for a hit on Toronto's Jason Blake on Saturday, beat Hedberg with a shot from between the circles for his second career tally.

The 20-year-old Downie made headlines during the preseason for his illegal diving check on Ottawa's Dean McAmmond. After McAmmond left the game on a stretcher, the league imposed a 20-game suspension on the 2005 first-round pick.

Hedberg turned aside 25 shots for Atlanta, which has lost eight straight to Philadelphia.

Once again, the Thrashers were unable to put together a winning streak during their five-game homestand. Atlanta (21-22-1), which has been within one game of the .500 mark in each of its last 11 games, has failed to win back-to-back contests since winning four straight from December 18-23.

"We didn't show up," Thrashers captain Bobby Holik said. "That's the bottom line. We play one game, we don't play good the next. It's the attitude, the approach. ... We know the reason, but we first have to solve it internally."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 0 4 0 4
    ATLANTA 1 0 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - ILYA KOVALCHUK 35 (TODD WHITE, GARNET EXELBY) 9:08
    2ND PRD: PHI - STEVE DOWNIE 2 (SCOTT HARTNELL) 0:32
    PHI - (PP) JEFF CARTER 15 (SCOTT HARTNELL) 13:42
    PHI - JEFF CARTER 16 (DENIS TOLPEKO, BRAYDON COBURN) 13:55


    Jan 8 9:29 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 0 4 4
    ATLANTA 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - ILYA KOVALCHUK 35 (TODD WHITE, GARNET EXELBY) 9:08
    2ND PRD: PHI - STEVE DOWNIE 2 (SCOTT HARTNELL, MIKE RICHARDS) 0:32
    PHI - (PP) JEFF CARTER 15 (SCOTT HARTNELL) 13:42
    PHI - JEFF CARTER 16 (STEFAN RU

    Jan 8 8:39 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 4
    ATLANTA 1
    2ND PRD: PHI - (SH) SCOTT HARTNELL 7 (JIM DOWD) 19:59

    Flyers vs. ThrashersJan 8 8:39 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 3
    ATLANTA 1
    2ND PRD: PHI - JEFF CARTER 16 (UNASSISTED) 13:55

    Flyers vs. ThrashersJan 8 8:26 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 2
    ATLANTA 1
    2ND PRD: PHI - (PP) JEFF CARTER 15 (SCOTT HARTNELL) 13:42

    Flyers vs. ThrashersJan 8 8:26 PM
  • 5
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Flyers vs. ThrashersJan 8 8:18 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    ATLANTA 1
    2ND PRD: PHI - STEVE DOWNIE 2 (SCOTT HARTNELL, MIKE RICHARDS) 0:32

    Flyers vs. ThrashersJan 8 8:00 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0
    ATLANTA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - ILYA KOVALCHUK 35 (TODD WHITE, GARNET EXELBY) 9:08
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHI 11 11
    ATL 9 9
    GOALIES: PHI - ANTERO NIITTYMAK

    Jan 8 7:41 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    ATLANTA 1
    1ST PRD: ATL - ILYA KOVALCHUK 35 (TODD WHITE, GARNET EXELBY) 9:08

    Flyers vs. ThrashersJan 8 7:23 PM