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Gagne Hat Trick Leads Flyers to Win Over Atlanta

Saturday, 11.05.2005 / 12:00 AM / News
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Gagne Hat Trick Leads Flyers to Win Over Atlanta


Philadelphia, PA – Simon Gagne scored three goals to take over the league lead and Peter Forsberg added a goal and two assists in helping the Flyers to a 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers at the Wachovia Center.

Gagne completed the hat trick, the second of his career, at 15:40 of the third period. On the play, Joni Pitkanen attempted a wrap around that went through the crease and bounced off of defenseman Jaroslav Modry's skate. Gagne was there to bang in the loose puck to make it a 4-2 game at the time.

"It was a great play by Joni on the wrap around, and it happened that the puck ended up right there with an empty net," said Gagne in describing the goal. "I just jumped on it and it ended up being the winning goal tonight."


Atlanta's Serge Aubin made it a 4-3 game with a goal at 16:32, but that was all that the Thrashers would get as the Flyers won their sixth consecutive home game.

Gagne now leads the NHL in goals with 15, moving ahead of the Rangers' Jaromir Jagr. Forsberg added to his league-leading assist total and now has 21 on the season.

"Peter is a refined player. Simon has built a foundation of work to go along with his skill," said Ken Hitchcock. "He scores gritty goals, and has a great foundation of two-way hockey. He didn't panic when the puck was on the boards when the game was on the line, and those things to me are just as important as the goals he scores."

Philadelphia did not play its best game of the season, and was outshot 31-18 for the game. Fortunately, Robert Esche was strong between the pipes making 28 saves and recording his fourth consecutive victory.

"This was the very first game where we needed our goalie," said Hitchcock. "He came through, huge, for us. Whatever reason for the whole game, we didn't have the right attitude going."

"I've had some games that I've been really proud of," said Esche. "Obviously the last three games have probably have been the best of all of them, but for the most part the entire season I've actually surprised myself a little bit and felt really good."

The Flyers jumped in front with a couple of goals in the first period courtesy of Forsberg and Gagne.

First it was Gagne during a two-man advantage for Philadelphia. He tipped in a feed from Forsberg at 3:46 for his first goal of the night.

Forsberg's fourth of the season increased the lead late in the period. A penalty to Bobby Holik for interference on the goaltender had just expired when Forsberg took a pass from Gagne, skated towards the crease and attempted to whack the puck through goaltender Mike Dunham. Dunham made the original save, but it bounced right back to Forsberg and he deposited his own rebound at 18:28.

The game remained 2-0 until Marian Hossa, acquired in the offseason from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for Dany Heatley, cut the lead in half. Hossa muscled his way from behind the net and made managed to slip the puck inside the far post at 12:40 on the power play.

Hossa, who leads Thrashers in points with 16, was robbed moments earlier by Esche on a sprawling glove save by the Flyers' goaltender.

Gagne's second goal of the game made it 3-1 and came during another two-man advantage when Mike Knuble found him in the slot for a one-timer at 1:12 of the second period.

The Flyers continue their five-game homestand on Tuesday when they host the Boston Bruins. On Friday, November 10, the New York Islanders will be in town while Florida will make its second visit of the season on Saturday, November 12.

FLYERS NOTES
Kim Johnsson returned to action after missing Thursday's game with a left groin strain and assisted on Forsberg's goal. Atlanta was forced to play the game with just Dunham, as backup Steve Shields was injured during warm-ups. The Flyers sold out their sixth game of the season.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 82 28 58 7 86
J. Voracek 82 23 39 11 62
W. Simmonds 82 29 31 -4 60
S. Hartnell 78 20 32 11 52
M. Streit 82 10 34 3 44
B. Schenn 82 20 21 0 41
M. Read 75 22 18 -4 40
S. Couturier 82 13 26 1 39
V. Lecavalier 69 20 17 -16 37
K. Timonen 77 6 29 5 35
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 33 18 7 .917 2.50
R. Emery 9 12 2 .903 2.96
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