Booth pushes Panthers past Thrashers
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - David Booth scored the eventual game-winner early in the third period as the Florida Panthers defeated the Atlanta Thrashers, 3-2, at Philips Arena.
Olli Jokinen and Jay Bouwmeester each scored a goal for the Panthers, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Craig Anderson made 31 saves in the win.
"I thought our special teams were very good tonight," said Florida coach Jacques Martin. "We got the power-play goal and won that part of the game. One positive from this year is our road record."
Jordan LaValee-Smotherman scored his first career goal and also notched his first assist for the Thrashers, who have lost seven of their last nine games. Johan Hedberg finished the game with 30 saves.
"It's never satisfying to be honest with you," said Atlanta forward Mark Recchi. "When you're not playing for the playoffs its disappointing. You play to make the playoffs. But at the same time I want to keep leading by example and do the right things."
Florida jumped out to a 1-0 lead just 4:10 into the contest on the power play courtesy of a one-timer from Jokinen that beat Hedberg.
Anderson stopped all 10 shots he faced in the first 20 minutes.
The Thrashers tied the game at the 13:09 mark of the second period when LaVallee-Smotherman backhanded a shot from the left circle that beat Anderson.
Hedberg kept Florida from scoring in the second period thanks to stopping all 14 shots he faced in the frame.
Florida, though, took a 2-1 lead just 1:02 into the second period as Bouwmeester picked up a loose puck at the left point and flicked a wrister through traffic that beat Hedberg.
The Panthers padded their lead just 17 seconds later on Booth's 17th goal of the season.
Recchi's 14th goal of the season with 3:12 left in the game made it a 3-2 contest, but the Thrashers were unable to tie the game as Florida escaped with the win.
Florida plays road games in Carolina on Friday and Washington on Saturday to close out its season...Atlanta finishes its season on Saturday when it hosts Tampa Bay...Florida won five of the eight games against Atlanta this season...Florida went 1-for-5 on the power play while Atlanta finished 0- for-4.
04/01 22:13:56 ET