NHL Game Summary - Philadelphia at Atlanta
(Sunday, February 8th)
Final Score: Philadelphia 3, Atlanta 2
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Jeff Carter scored twice and added an assist, as the Philadelphia Flyers continued their mastery of Atlanta with a 3-2 win over the Thrashers at Philips Arena.
Joffrey Lupul also tallied and Scott Hartnell recorded two helpers for the Flyers, who extended their incredible winning streak over the Thrashers to 14 straight games. Antero Niittymaki made 29 saves to improve his record on the season to 13-4-4.
The Finnish netminder is now a perfect 13-0-0 in his career versus Atlanta. Niittymaki is one of only two active goalies in the NHL with an unblemished record in at least 10 decisions against one team. Chris Osgood of the Detroit Red Wings is 17-0-0 against the Lightning.
"I haven't been all that good in every game, but were able to score a lot of goals in most of the games," Niittymaki said of his mark against Atlanta. "I think that's been the difference. There have been a couple tight games. You need a little luck, too."
Ilya Kovalchuk and Vyacheslav Kozlov each scored a power-play goal for the Thrashers, who haven't solved the orange and black since a 6-5 overtime triumph on November 18, 2005. Johan Hedberg yielded three goals on 23 shots in defeat.
"We played a great game," Hedberg said. "(The Flyers) did enough things to pick up the win. It's on us to be smarter with the puck early in games and not turn it over."
Philadelphia grabbed a 1-0 lead on the strength of Carter's 33rd goal of the season. Hartnell ignited a rush from the defensive zone and hit Carter in center ice with a pass. The All-Star forward glided down his off-wing and beat Hedberg with a wrister to the far side of the net at the 8:25 mark of the first period.
Lupul snapped a low wrist shot past Hedberg 52 seconds into the middle stanza, and Carter lit the lamp for the 100th time in his career early in the third period.
Atlanta forward Colby Armstrong was assessed a hooking minor and the Flyers went to work on the man advantage. Hartnell's cross-ice pass through two Thrashers players found Carter for a one-timer at the bottom of the left circle at 2:51.
Moments later, Flyers defenseman Matt Carle was whistled for cross-checking and Kovalchuk's blast from the slot slid between the pads of Niittymaki at the four-minute mark.
Kozlov buried a wrister over the left shoulder of Niittymaki with 6:56 remaining, but an equalizer never materialized.
Carter trails Washington sniper and reigning NHL MVP Alex Ovechkin by three goals in the race for the Rocket Richard trophy...Flyers team captain Mike Richards and forward Scottie Upshall both missed their third straight game with the flu...Atlanta forward Todd White notched the 200th assist of his career...The Thrashers finished 2-for-6 on the power play, while Philadelphia was 1-for-4.
02/08 18:59:20 ET