Skip to main content


Thrashers 6, Flyers 5, OT @NHL

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Poor special teams cost the Philadelphia Flyers.

Greg de Vries scored 3:05 into overtime, after Atlanta wiped out a two-goal deficit with power-play tallies in the final two minutes of regulation, and the Thrashers defeated the Flyers 6-5 on Friday night.

After Peter Bondra cut the deficit to one with 1:50 remaining, Patrick Stefan tied it 5-5 with only 7 seconds left. De Vries won it on a breakaway for Atlanta, which snapped a three-game losing streak to the Flyers.

``There was nobody around,'' de Vries said. ``I tried to settle the puck down a bit. Luckily, it went in.''

Philadelphia lost its second straight in overtime and third overall.

Ilya Kovalchuk had two power-play goals and three assists, and rookie Michael Garnett made 31 saves to record his first NHL win for Atlanta. It was the Thrashers' second victory in Philadelphia in their six-season history (2-8-2).

Branko Radivojevic had two goals and an assist for the Flyers, who entered with the league's worst penalty-killing unit and yielded four goals in 10 short-handed situations.

``The game was decided in the last two minutes because of a penalty and a power play,'' said Flyers forward Simon Gagne, who appeared to be interfered with late in regulation but didn't draw a penalty. ``We know that with the new NHL, we're going to see a lot of that.''

The Thrashers have the third-best power play in the NHL and have recorded a man-advantage goal in 11 of 13 games.

In the first period, Donald Brashear drew three of five Flyers penalties, including two on one sequence, and Kovalchuk took advantage twice.

In the second, the Flyers stopped committing penalties and started putting the pressure on Garnett, who made his third career start. Radivojevic had two goals, and Gagne added one in a span of 4:24 to give the Flyers a 4-3 lead.

With 1:02 remaining in the period, defenseman Derian Hatcher hopped out of the penalty box and slapped the puck by Garnett to make it 5-3.

``The first 40 minutes seems like two different games,'' said Atlanta's Bob Hartley, who coached his 499th NHL game. ``We dominated the first, and they came back and dominated the second.''

Atlanta withstood trouble in the third period.

Flyers center R.J. Umberger was stopped on a penalty shot, and the Thrashers killed a four-minute power play after Kovalchuk was called for high sticking.

``We had the huge kill when they had their four-minute power play. That was a big key,'' Hartley said.

Garnett's stop on the penalty shot gave the Thrashers a chance to come back.

With 1:50 to go and Garnett on the bench, Bondra scored on what was a three-man skating advantage.

``In the new NHL, you get a 5-on-3 late in the game and you take advantage of it,'' de Vries said.

Soon after, Gagne had a chance to give the Flyers a two-goal lead but was pulled down as he attempted to score on an empty net. No penalty was called, and moments later, Stefan sent the game into overtime with Atlanta's fourth power-play goal.

``I had a great chance to score a goal and maybe put the game away,'' Gagne said. ``I had a couple of sticks in my skate, and I'm pretty sure I got held.''

Notes: With 4:36 left in the second period, Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock left the game after being hit in the head with a puck that ricocheted into the bench. He returned for the start of the third. ... In the last 14 games, Kovalchuk has 13 goals and 13 assists. ... It was Garnett's first NHL appearance since Oct. 20. Garnett (1-2) is one of five goaltenders used by the injury-plagued Thrashers this season. He was recalled from Chicago of the AHL on Tuesday. ... Rookie Adam Berkhoel allowed seven goals in Atlanta's 7-3 home loss to the New York Islanders on Wednesday.

View More