for this game

Knuble, Gagne, Lupul lead surging Flyers to rout of Thrashers

Oct 29, 2008 - 4:28 AM By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- A trio of Flyers helped Antero Niittymaki do what he always does against the woeful Atlanta Thrashers - win.

Niittymaki stopped 24 shots and Simon Gagne scored two goals and set up two more to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 7-0 rout over listless Atlanta on Tuesday.

Mike Knuble and Joffrey Lupul each scored a pair of goals and Mike Richards added a pair of assists for the Flyers (3-3-3), who won their 11th consecutive game against the Thrashers and third straight overall.

"I was a little worried about this game," Flyers coach John Stevens admitted. "But I thought we did a really good job."

Stevens had no need to worry with Niittymaki between the pipes against Atlanta.

The 28-year-old Finn has made a habit of dominating the low-flying Atlanta franchise, now boasting a 10-0 record with a 1.50 goals-against average lifetime against the team from the Peach State.

"That's a great stat," former Thrasher Glen Metropolit said when told of his goaltender's record. "Like Cy Young."

Niittymaki was rarely challenged by the weak Thrashers offense in this one, setting aside six shots in the first, nine in the second and nine in the third en route to his fourth career shutout.

"That's always nice," Niittymaki said. "You don't think about that much, but when you're up 6-0 with two minutes left, you have to think about it."

Once again Niittymaki got the best of countryman Kari Lehtonen, defeating him for the ninth consecutive game. Lehtonen, who is four years younger than Niittymaki has never defeated him in professional play.

"Niittymaki has always played well against (Atlanta)," Gagne said. "Every time he's playing against them. I don't know the last time he's lost here. That definitely helps a lot."

Any hope of the Thrashers winning this one was gone in 80 seconds.

Lupul took advantage of a turnover by Atlanta blueliner Tobias Enstrom in the game's second minute, blasting the puck past Atlanta's Kari Lehtonen to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead.

Knuble scored his first goal in the second period, banging in Metropolit's rebound from the doorstep at 3:13 to double the Philadelphia lead. It was the third goal of the season and third in as many games for Knuble, who also added a power play goal in the final period.

The Flyers extended the lead to 3-0 with a shorthanded tally with 15 seconds remaining in the third period. Richards stole a cross-ice pass from Atlanta star Ilya Kovalchuk at the Philadelphia blue line and rushed down the ice on the 2-on-1 break with Gagne.

The Flyers captain dished the pass between the circles to Gagne, who buried the puck in the top shelf.

"Every time you score a goal, it's fun," Gagne said. "Especially on a 2-on-1 like that. That was a big goal. It gave us big confidence."

A frustrated Kovalchuk tossed his stick at the boards, drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and doubled his time in the box after arguing with the referees while skating off the ice during the intermission.

That sealed the Thrashers' fate.

"We weren't ready, and from the start, we didn't have the effort we wanted," right wing Colby Armstrong said. "There were a couple good bounces for them, but at the same time, the game was there for us. After they got up a few (goals) we just kind of folded tent."

Knuble and Lupul added power play tallies 37 seconds apart in the third period to put the game away. Gagne added to the lead by banging a rebound past Lehtonen at 7:56 of the third period before Metropolit capped the scoring with a tally with 2:40 remaining.

"It's one of those places where we always do well," Knuble said. "We got great results today. We scored every kind of which way. It was good. It was a lot of fun today."

The Thrashers sure didn't make this one much fun for the announced crowd of 13,207, who lustily booed not the Thrashers after the second and third periods, but also booed the team's mascot - Thrash - after an ill-advised dance routine to "The Right Stuff" from the 1980's boy band "New Kids on the Block."

Atlanta (2-4-2), losers of three straight, is still looking for the right stuff this season.

"We didn't play well from the start," Thrashers blueliner Niclas Havelid said. "And from the first goal, things just fell apart for us. It was a bad night, unacceptable. We've got to move on."

Lehtonen stopped 24 shots for the Thrashers, who last defeated the Flyers at home on December 21, 2003.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 1 2 4 7
    ATLANTA 0 0 0 0 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - JOFFREY LUPUL 4 (UNASSISTED) 1:20
    2ND PRD: PHI - MIKE KNUBLE 3 (GLEN METROPOLIT, SIMON GAGNE) 3:13
    PHI - (PP) SIMON GAGNE 6 (MIKE RICHARDS) 19:45
    3RD PRD: PHI - (PP) MIKE KNUBLE 4 (SIMON GAGNE, MIKE RICHARDS) 1:

    Oct 28 9:36 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 7
    ATLANTA 0
    3RD PRD: PHI - (PP) GLEN METROPOLIT 1 (LUCA SBISA) 17:20

    Flyers 7, Thrashers 0  3rd - 2:40Oct 28 9:31 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 6
    ATLANTA 0
    3RD PRD: PHI - SIMON GAGNE 7 (LUCA SBISA, GLEN METROPOLIT) 7:56

    Flyers 6, Thrashers 0  3rd - 12:04Oct 28 9:09 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 5
    ATLANTA 0
    3RD PRD: PHI - (PP) JOFFREY LUPUL 5 (BRAYDON COBURN, JEFF CARTER) 1:39

    Flyers 5, Thrashers 0  3rd - 18:21Oct 28 8:59 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 4
    ATLANTA 0
    3RD PRD: PHI - (PP) MIKE KNUBLE 4 (SIMON GAGNE, MIKE RICHARDS) 1:02

    Flyers 4, Thrashers 0  3rd - 18:58Oct 28 8:59 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 1 2 3
    ATLANTA 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - JOFFREY LUPUL 4 (UNASSISTED) 1:20
    2ND PRD: PHI - MIKE KNUBLE 3 (GLEN METROPOLIT, SIMON GAGNE) 3:13
    PHI - (PP) SIMON GAGNE 6 (MIKE RICHARDS) 19:45
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- ---

    Oct 28 8:38 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 3
    ATLANTA 0
    2ND PRD: PHI - (PP) SIMON GAGNE 6 (MIKE RICHARDS) 19:45

    Flyers 3, Thrashers 0  2nd - 0:15Oct 28 8:37 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 2
    ATLANTA 0
    2ND PRD: PHI - MIKE KNUBLE 3 (GLEN METROPOLIT, SIMON GAGNE) 3:13

    Flyers 2, Thrashers 0  2nd - 16:47Oct 28 8:06 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHILADELPHIA 1 1
    ATLANTA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: PHI - JOFFREY LUPUL 4 (UNASSISTED) 1:20
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    PHI 4 4
    ATL 6 6
    GOALIES: PHI - ANTERO NIITTYMAKI
    ATL - KARI LEHT

    Oct 28 7:43 PM
  • 10
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Flyers 1, Thrashers 0  1st - 4:41Oct 28 7:37 PM
  • 5
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 5 roots

    Flyers 1, Thrashers 0  1st - 10:44Oct 28 7:25 PM


  • NHL
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    ATLANTA 0
    1ST PRD: PHI - JOFFREY LUPUL 4 (UNASSISTED) 1:20

    Flyers 1, Thrashers 0  1st - 18:40Oct 28 7:13 PM