for this game

Flyers bounce back with narrow win over Thrashers

Mar 19, 2008 - 3:23 AM
PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- The Philadelphia Flyers rebounded from a dismal loss and managed to keep pace in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Jeff Carter scored a power-play goal with three seconds left in the second period and Vaclav Prospal added a third-period tally to lead the Flyers to a 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Tuesday night.

Mike Richards also scored and Joffrey Lupul notched a pair of assists for the Flyers (36-28-10), who snapped a four-game skid and remained two points ahead of the Washington Capitals (36-30-8) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.

"We played a good game tonight," Richards said. "We did the things that we've been preaching in the last couple of games. We got the pucks on net and didn't have any turnovers. We created a lot of offense from good defensive posture."

The win came just two days after Philadelphia suffered an embarrassing 7-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday.

Philadelphia took advantage of a hooking penalty by former Flyer Mark Recchi to take a 2-1 lead in the closing seconds of the second period.

All-Star defenseman Kimmo Timonen fired a slap shot from just above the slot with time winding down. The puck deflected off Carter's skate and past goaltender Kari Lehtonen, giving the center his 28th goal of the season.

"We took a weird penalty there, and three seconds before the end, they score," Lehtonen said. "It was devastating. It could have been a different mind set going into the third if (the score) was even. It was still a one-goal game and we had to give a better effort."

"At this time of the year, you need everything you can get," Carter said. "When you get a big goal, it deflates the other team, and it gave us a boost going into the third."

Prospal provided some much-needed insurance at 8:07 of the third.

Defenseman Ryan Parent intercepted a cross-ice pass deep in his own zone and quickly moved the puck to Scott Hartnell, who began a breakout play. Hartnell dished to Daniel Briere, who managed to gain the offensive zone on a 2-on-1 advantage, with Prospal to his left.

Briere completed a perfect pass to Prospal, who buried a wrist shot for his 31st goal of the season and a 3-1 advantage.

"Parent made a great play to get it started," said Prospal, who scored for just the second time in 11 games since being acquired from Tampa Bay at the trade deadline on February 26. "We got it up the wall and we had a quick 2-on-1, and we converted on it pretty good."

"Philadelphia has three good lines who are skilled," Lehtonen said. "When they get on an odd-man rush, it usually turns into a good scoring chance. They made a good play, and there wasn't anything that I or the defenseman could do."

The tally proved crucial as All-Star Ilya Kovalchuk halved the deficit with his 50th of the season with just 30 seconds left in the third. Kovalchuk joined Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin as the only players to reach the 50-goal mark thus far this season.

However, the Thrashers were unable to get the equalizer as Antero Niittymaki made a huge save on a point-blank wrister by Kovalchuk in the final moments to preserve the victory.

"I don't think that there were too many people who expected Kovalchuk behind everybody there," said Niittymaki, who finished with 17 saves. "You have to assume that there is somebody there, and I was able to react and get my pad on the shot."

"The puck was on the wall, and you think that it's going to get buried there, but it was an unbelievable save," Flyers coach John Stevens said. "We have not done things easy, and we needed a play like that to get back on track."

Atlanta jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 58 seconds into the game on Chris Thorburn's fifth goal of the season.

Kovalchuk skated into the offensive zone and dropped a pass to Thorburn, who skated into the left faceoff circle before unleashing a backhander that went off the skate of a defender and past Niittymaki.

The Flyers tied it just over six minutes later, when Richards netted his 25th of the season.

Richards fed Lupul, who ripped a shot from the slot that was stopped by Lehtonen. Lupul chased down the rebound on the right side and made a centering pass that deflected off a Thrasher and right to Richards, who beat Lehtonen at the seven-minute mark to forge a 1-1 deadlock.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 1 0 1 2
    PHILADELPHIA 1 1 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - CHRIS THORBURN 5 (ILYA KOVALCHUK, JOEL KWIATKOWSKI)
    0:58
    PHI - MIKE RICHARDS 25 (JOFFREY LUPUL, PATRICK THORESEN)
    7:00
    2ND PRD: PHI - (PP) JEFF CARTER 28 (KIMMO TIMONEN, JOFFREY LUPUL)
    19:57
    3RD PRD: PHI - VA

    Mar 18 9:38 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 2
    PHILADELPHIA 3
    2ND PRD: ATL - ILYA KOVALCHUK 50 (BOBBY HOLIK) 19:30

    Thrashers 2, Flyers 3  2nd - 0:30Mar 18 9:33 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    PHILADELPHIA 3
    2ND PRD: PHI - VACLAV PROSPAL 31 (DANIEL BRIERE, SCOTT HARTNELL) 8:07

    Thrashers 1, Flyers 3  2nd - 11:53Mar 18 9:11 PM


  • CORRECTION
    NHL END OF THE 3RD 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 1 0 0 1
    PHILADELPHIA 1 1 0 2 END OF THE 3RD
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - CHRIS THORBURN 5 (ILYA KOVALCHUK, JOEL KWIATKOWSKI)
    0:58
    PHI - MIKE RICHARDS 25 (JOFFREY LUPUL, PATRICK THORESEN)
    7:00
    2ND PRD: PHI - (PP) JEFF CARTER 28 (KIMMO TIMONEN, JOFFREY LUPUL

    Thrashers 1, Flyers 2  End of Reg.Mar 18 8:56 PM
  • 5
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 22 roots

    Thrashers 1, Flyers 2  2nd - 19:55Mar 18 8:56 PM
  • 27
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 22 roots (Close Finish)

    Thrashers 1, Flyers 2  End of Reg.Mar 18 8:56 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 1 0 1
    PHILADELPHIA 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - CHRIS THORBURN 5 (ILYA KOVALCHUK, JOEL KWIATKOWSKI)
    0:58
    PHI - MIKE RICHARDS 25 (JOFFREY LUPUL, PATRICK THORESEN)
    7:00
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----

    Mar 18 8:38 PM
  • 5
    roots
    SuketoKetchi Added 5 roots

    Thrashers 1, Flyers 1  2nd - 16:00Mar 18 8:12 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 1 1
    PHILADELPHIA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - BOBBY HOLIK 13 (CHRIS THORBURN, ILYA KOVALCHUK) 0:58
    PHI - MIKE RICHARDS 25 (JOFFREY LUPUL, PATRICK THORESEN)
    7:00
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATL 8

    Mar 18 7:44 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    1ST PRD: PHI - MIKE RICHARDS 25 (JOFFREY LUPUL, PATRICK THORESEN) 7:00

    Thrashers 1, Flyers 1  1st - 13:00Mar 18 7:24 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    1ST PRD: ATL - BOBBY HOLIK 13 (CHRIS THORBURN, ILYA KOVALCHUK) 0:58

    Thrashers 1, Flyers 0  1st - 19:02Mar 18 7:14 PM