GAME: Atlanta Thrashers (27-32-6-3) at Boston Bruins (32-16-13-7).
TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EST.
The Boston Bruins loved what they saw from Sergei Gonchar and Michael
Nylander so much, they hope to see it again and again.
The revamped Bruins will try for their second straight win with their two
new impact players when they take on the Atlanta Thrashers at FleetCenter.
All-Star defenseman Gonchar, acquired Wednesday from Washington, scored for
the Bruins on Thursday as they beat the New York Rangers 3-1. Nylander, plucked
from the Capitals earlier in the day, assisted on the goal.
"They are two guys that are going to help our team. But we had success
tonight because it was really a collaborative effort," said coach Mike
Sullivan, whose team is four points out of the top spot in the Eastern
Conference. "That's why this team has been successful, and we feel will
continue to be successful, and we think these two guys can help us."
Bruins veteran center Joe Thornton, who scored Boston's other two goals,
agreed with his coach's assessment.
"The confidence in the room just goes up with adding two guys like that,"
said Thornton, whose team improved to 13-2-1-1 when he scores. "You have extra
jump in your legs."
Atlanta's fading playoffs took another hit Friday as it fell 3-2 in overtime
to Carolina. Kevyn Adams scored with less than a second left in the extra
session. The loss ended the Thrashers' three-game winning streak.
"We have to remember we got a point out of this game," goalie Pasi
Nurminen said. "We were two goals behind and came back."
The Thrashers went 0-for-9 on the power play and are 10 points behind the
New York Islanders for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.
STANDINGS: Thrashers - 62 points, 3rd place, 26 PB, Southeast Division.
Bruins - 84 points, 2nd place (tied), 2 PB, Northeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Thrashers - Ilya Kovalchuk, 36 goals, 35 assists and 71
points; Francis Lessard, 127 PIM. Bruins - Glen Murray, 28 goals; Thornton, 45
assists and 64 points; Doug Doull, 115 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 3): Thrashers - Kovalchuk, 36 goals, 35 assists
and 71 points; Francis Lessard, 127 PIM. Bruins - Power play: 16.1 percent (39
for 242), 14th. Penalty killing: 83.8 percent (222 for 265), 20th.
GOALTENDERS: Thrashers - Nurminen (23-24-5, 2 SO, 2.84 GAA); Frederic
Cassivi (no record). Bruins - Andrew Raycroft (22-16-7, 3, 1.99); Felix Potvin
(10-7-6, 4, 2.57).
SEASON SERIES: Bruins, 2-1.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 3; Bruins, 5-4. At Boston, Thornton scored a pair of
goals and Murray added a goal and an assist to power the Bruins.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Thrashers - 13-18-2-2 on the road; Bruins - 14-9-7-2 at