Skip to main content

Flyers take first crack this season vs. Thrashers

by Brian Hunter

FLYERS (27-11-5) at THRASHERS (22-16-7)


Last 10:
Philadelphia 6-4-0; Atlanta 3-5-2

Season series:
First of four meetings on the 2010-11 schedule -- the final three come during a 20-day span to end March. Atlanta swept last season's series, outscoring Philadelphia by a 13-6 margin. Prior to this, the Flyers had won 14 consecutive games between the clubs. Rich Peverley of the Thrashers led all scorers with 3 goals. 

Big story: The Flyers lead the Eastern Conference in goals and are tied with the Rangers for most points earned on the road (31), but scoring five times wasn't enough to earn them a win over the Bruins on Thursday. That was the second stop on a four-game road trips that continues Friday against the Thrashers.

Team Scope:

Flyers: It was the second game in a row Philadelphia put five on the board, but after rallying from an early two-goal deficit to win in Buffalo on Tuesday, the Flyers ran out of comebacks against the Bruins. They wiped out 1-0, 2-1 and 4-3 deficits, even holding 3-2 and 5-4 leads of their own, but Boston scored the final three goals to deal them a 7-5 defeat.

"The rivalry is building up again," said Danny Briere, one of the Philadelphia goal scorers. "The last few years, the suspension, the Winter Classic, the comeback, those are all things that make it more of a rivalry and it's good."

Thrashers: After having four days between games, Atlanta will now play three games over the next four days. The Thrashers have been scoring goals, but giving up far too many -- 13 total in losses to the Maple Leafs and Hurricanes. They did rally to earn a point in Carolina, as Bryan Little scored his second goal of the game midway through the third period, but Erik Cole handed them a 4-3 defeat by scoring 2:09 into overtime.

"We're very proud of the way the boys fought back," coach Craig Ramsay said. "We're down significantly again and we fought back from the tough one the other night (a 9-3 loss to Toronto).

"But I thought they showed a lot of heart and a lot of courage."

Who's hot: Briere has 5 goals and 5 assists during a five-game points streak for the Flyers. Scott Hartnell has 6 goals over his last five games. … Thrashers defenseman Tobias Enstrom (1-6-7), captain Andrew Ladd (2-3-5) and forward Niclas Bergfors (2-2-4) all have four-game points streaks going.

Injury report: Philadelphia had forward Nikolay Zherdev in the lineup Thursday and he scored in his first game back from a groin injury. Defenseman Chris Pronger is close to returning from a broken foot. … Atlanta forward Freddy Modin is day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Forwards Evander Kane (lower body) and Jim Slater (concussion) are on injured reserve. Forward Ben Eager is serving a four-game suspension.

Stat pack:
Flyers forward Claude Giroux has scored more than half of his 16 goals on special teams, with 6 power-play goals and 3 shorthanded goals. … Thrashers defenseman Dustin Byfuglien leads the team in goals (16), points (41), power-play goals (6) and game-winning goals (6).

Puck drop:
Atlanta's 28th-ranked penalty kill will be tested against a potent Philadelphia power play, and Ladd knows it must show improvement.

"They have so many different options on the power play," he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "It's not keyed to one certain guy. They move the puck so well and have five guys who can shoot the puck. It's important to be positionally strong, you have to sacrifice the body and block shots and make sure you do everything you can to limit their chances."

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.