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Flyers-Thrashers Preview

Friday, 11.18.2005 / 12:00 AM ET / News
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Flyers-Thrashers Preview
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The potent offense of the Philadelphia Flyers has been slowed the last two games. Facing a team down its top three goaltenders could change that.

The Flyers try to avoid losing a third straight game for the first time this season as they host the Atlanta Thrashers.

Philadelphia had a nine-game home winning streak snapped Wednesday night with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Joni Pitkanen scored two power-play goals in the third period for the Flyers, who outshot the Penguins, 47-29.

The Flyers, who had won six straight overall before Monday's 5-2 loss at Tampa Bay, generated plenty of good scoring chances against Pittsburgh. Mike Knuble and Mike Rathje were stopped on point-blank shots in overtime, and the Flyers left rookie star Sidney Crosby uncovered to receive a breakout pass before scoring the winning goal.

"I don't think we played real well," said Peter Forsberg, who set up both of Pitkanen's goals and leads the NHL with 27 assists. "The last couple games we were sliding a bit and not playing smart hockey. We have been giving up the puck."

Before the last two losses, Philadelphia had scored at least four goals in seven of its previous eight games.

The Thrashers also displayed an impressive attack recently, outscoring opponents 19-2 during a three-game winning streak, before losing 7-3 to the New York Islanders on Wednesday night.

Adam Berkhoel, making his fifth start of the season, made 32 saves and allowed all seven goals.

"What happened to us tonight is behind us," Berkhoel said. "We know how we can play, and when we're all clicking we are a scary team."

On Wednesday, the Thrashers placed backup goaltender Mike Dunham on injured reserve for the second time this season with a groin injury.

Kari Lehtonen was Atlanta's No. 1 goalie, but has been out since injuring his groin in the season opener. With Steve Shields also sidelined by a knee injury, Michael Garnett was recalled from Chicago of the AHL on Tuesday to serve as Berkhoel's backup.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 17): Thrashers - 15 points, 4th place, 14 PB, Southeast Division. Flyers - 24 points, 2nd place, 1 PB, Atlantic Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Thrashers - Ilya Kovalchuk, 11 goals; Marc Savard, 20 assists and 26 points; Andy Sutton, 46 PIM. Flyers - Simon Gagne, 17 goals; Forsberg, 27 assists and 33 points; Pitkanen, 38 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 17): Thrashers - Power play: 21.9 percent (30 for 137), 3rd in NHL. Penalty killing: 78.6 percent (113 for 131), 27th. Flyers - Power play: 21.4 percent (26 for 121), 5th. Penalty killing: 76.3 percent (87 for 114), 30th.

GOALTENDERS: Thrashers - Berkhoel (2-3-0, 0 SO, 3.72 GAA); Garnett (0-2-0, 6.34). Flyers - Robert Esche (8-3-1, 3.08); Antero Niittymaki (3-1-1, 3.71).

SEASON SERIES: Flyers, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Nov. 5; Flyers, 4-3. At Philadelphia, Gagne had his second career hat trick, and Forsberg added a goal and two assists as the Flyers improved to 8-2-1 all-time at home against the Thrashers.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Thrashers - 3-5-1 on the road; Flyers - 9-1-1 at home.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 54 40 10 4 178 124 84
2 FLA 56 32 18 6 153 132 70
3 NYR 55 31 18 6 157 140 68
4 BOS 55 30 19 6 163 150 66
5 DET 55 28 18 9 138 134 65
6 TBL 54 30 20 4 144 130 64
7 NYI 54 29 19 6 153 137 64
8 PIT 54 28 19 7 139 136 63
9 NJD 56 28 21 7 124 124 63
10 CAR 56 25 21 10 137 146 60
11 PHI 54 24 20 10 128 140 58
12 MTL 56 27 25 4 151 151 58
13 OTT 57 25 26 6 159 177 56
14 CBJ 57 23 28 6 144 175 52
15 BUF 56 22 28 6 131 155 50
16 TOR 54 20 25 9 127 151 49

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 54 16 30 -8 46
J. Voracek 54 8 35 -3 43
W. Simmonds 54 20 16 -7 36
B. Schenn 52 15 15 1 30
S. Gostisbehere 36 10 20 4 30
S. Couturier 40 9 15 9 24
M. Read 51 9 9 -5 18
M. Raffl 54 7 7 5 14
S. Laughton 52 4 10 -7 14
M. Del Zotto 52 4 9 -8 13
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 13 14 7 .917 2.65
M. Neuvirth 11 6 3 .932 2.13
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