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Philadelphia at Atlanta

Atlanta's Armstrong scores two goals again in win over Flyers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- The new-look Atlanta Thrashers are showing they didn't give up on the playoffs when they traded Ilya Kovalchuk.

Colby Armstrong and Nik Antropov have helped lead a more balanced scoring attack that has the Thrashers back in playoff contention.

Eastern Conference
SeedTeamGPPTSROW
1z-Pittsburgh487233
2y-Montreal486326
3y-Washington485724
4x-Boston486224
5x-Toronto485726
6x-N.Y. Rangers485622
7x-Ottawa485621
8x-N.Y. Islanders485520
Eliminated
9o-Winnipeg485122
10o-Philadelphia484922
11o-New Jersey484817
12o-Buffalo484814
13o-Carolina484218
14o-Tampa Bay484017
15o-Florida483612
Complete Playoff Race

Armstrong scored two goals and the Thrashers beat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 on Saturday for their third straight win.

The Thrashers trail eighth-place Boston by one point in the race for the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot.

"We know our position," Armstrong said. "We know what's at stake every game. We're just trying to worry about ourselves and win games."

Atlanta had not won as many as three in a row since a four-game streak from Nov. 25-30.

Armstrong had his second straight two-goal game. Antropov, Niclas Bergfors and Bryan Little also scored against Brian Boucher, who had 23 stops. Johan Hedberg made 25 saves for Atlanta.

Daniel Carcillo and Blair Betts had goals for the Flyers, who are in a three-way tie with Ottawa and Montreal for fifth in the conference with 79 points.

"They played with more passion and desperation than we did," Philadelphia defenseman Chris Pronger said.

Ian Laperriere said the Flyers have to play with the same desperation the Thrashers showed.

"We need these points as much as they do," Laperriere said. "We are not in the playoffs yet."

The Thrashers were in eighth place before losing six straight from March 6-14 to fall to 11th.

"We're fighting for our lives," Atlanta's Eric Boulton said. "We lost all those games in a row, but we're still in it."

Antropov, a 10-year veteran in his first season with the Thrashers, has emerged as Atlanta's scoring leader after the team traded Kovalchuk to New Jersey on Feb. 4 for four players, including Bergfors. Antropov has set a career high with 63 points, including 25 points in his last 21 games.

"That's not important to me," Antropov said of his team points lead. "My goal is for us to get into the playoffs."

Antropov's leadership showed late in the game when he put Philadelphia's Scott Hartnell in a headlock after Hartnell took a swipe at Hedberg. Antropov drew a two-minute penalty for roughing and Hartnell was called for slashing.

Goals by Bergfors and Armstrong in the first six minutes gave Atlanta a 2-0 lead, and Carcillo answered for the Flyers 8:16 into the first period.

Antropov and Betts traded goals in the second period, leaving the Thrashers with a 3-2 lead.

Little pushed the lead to 4-2 with his follow shot in front of the net midway through the third period. Armstrong added his second goal late in the period.

Philadelphia, which has been good on 23 percent of its power-play chances to rank third in the league, was 0 for 3 with the man advantage.

Boucher, who fell to 5-13-2, is the Flyers' third No. 1 goalie of the season, following injuries which ended the regular seasons of Ray Emery (hip) and Michael Leighton (left ankle sprain). Leighton was injured Tuesday night in a loss at Nashville.

The Thrashers are 3-0 in the season series.

"You can talk the talk, but it comes down to how you walk," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "Tonight they walked with a really good swagger and good pace. We played like it was just another game."

The teams play again Sunday in Philadelphia. Thrashers coach John Anderson said it will be difficult to take two wins in two days over the Flyers.

"I think going into Philly will be a little tougher," Anderson said. "They're going to be a little more prepared. They're going to play hard."

Notes

  • Atlanta's Jim Slater and Philadelphia's Carcillo drew five-minute penalties for fighting only 39 seconds into the game. About three minutes later, Atlanta's Eric Boulton and the Flyers' Ian Laperriere followed them into the penalty box after a fight.
  • Slater also drew two-minute roughing and tripping minors for a total of three penalties.
  • The Flyers had only three shots on goal in the second period.
  • Atlanta's Chris Chelios was a healthy scratch for the third straight game.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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After a drought of six games without a goal, Colby Armstrong (center) scores four in two games. (AP)
After a drought of six games without a goal, Colby Armstrong (center) scores four in two games. (AP)
Scoreboard
Philadelphia (37-29-5)1102
Atlanta  (31-29-11) «2125
Three Stars
N. Antropov
ATL


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
C. Armstrong
ATL


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
J. Hedberg
ATL


Saves: 25
Save Pct.: .926

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Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
01:48Niclas Bergfors (19), Wrist Shot. Assist: Afinogenov, Antropov
05:42Colby Armstrong (14), Snap Shot. Assist: Hainsey
08:16Daniel Carcillo (10), Tip-In. Assist: Pronger, Carle
2ND PERIOD
10:23Nik Antropov (23), Snap Shot. Assist: Bergfors, Artyukhin
14:34Blair Betts (8), Wrist Shot. Assist: Powe, Laperriere
3RD PERIOD
09:43Bryan Little (12), Wrist Shot. Assist: MacArthur, Enstrom
17:58Colby Armstrong (15), Wrist Shot. Assist: Enstrom, MacArthur
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
39.0Carcillo, 5 min, Fighting
39.0Slater, 5 min, Fighting
03:49Boulton, 5 min, Fighting
03:49Laperriere, 5 min, Fighting
08:43Antropov, 2 min, Holding
17:30Slater, 2 min, Roughing
19:00Richards, 2 min, Hooking
2ND PERIOD
03:08Slater, 2 min, Tripping
16:33van Riemsdyk, 2 min, Hooking
3RD PERIOD
12:11Antropov, 2 min, Roughing
12:11Hartnell, 2 min, Slashing
18:56van Riemsdyk, 2 min, Slashing
19:44Artyukhin, 2 min, High-Sticking
Shots On Goal
 123T
Philadelphia931527
Atlanta911828
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Brian Boucher60:00235
Johan Hedberg59:51252
Game Information
Attendance - 17024
Referees - Steve Kozari, Chris Lee
Linesmen - Jean Morin, Brian Murphy
 
Other Games
Buf 3 Final
Fla 1
Ott 4 Final
Dal 5
Chi 4 Final
Pho 5
Det 4 Final
OT
Van 3
StL 1 Final
NJ 0
Car 3 Final
OT
Pitt 2
Wash 3 Final
TB 1
Colu 0 Final
OT
Nash 1
Mon 2 Final
Tor 3
NYI 0 Final
LA 1