NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, November 15th (All times eastern)
Atlanta Thrashers (7-6-3-1) at Philadelphia Flyers (9-2-3-1), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Philadelphia Flyers seek their sixth consecutive victory tonight when they welcome the Atlanta Thrashers to the Wachovia Center.
Philly also hopes to keep its unbeaten home record intact. The Flyers are 6-0-2 on friendly ice, marking its longest opening home run without a loss since 1986-87 (8-0-0). The 1975-76 team began 7-0-1 at the old Spectrum, while the 79-80 club set the franchise record with a 19-0-7 home tear to begin the campaign. All three of those teams wound up playing in the Stanley Cup Finals the following spring.
On Thursday, Simon Gagne's goal at 1:47 of overtime lifted the Flyers to a 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks in the second installment of a three-game home set.
Gagne added an assist for the Flyers, while Mark Recchi, Michal Handzus and Eric Desjardins also chipped in goals. Robert Esche stopped 29-of-32 shots in the win, but Philly squandered a one-goal lead three times. Vancouver's Todd Bertuzzi beat Esche with just 7.2 seconds left in regulation to send the game into OT.
Jeremy Roenick chipped in a helper and extended his points streak to seven games (4g, 6a). Linemate Tony Amonte was kept off the scoresheet and saw his own streak halted at nine (6g, 7a).
The Flyers will visit Carolina on Tuesday.
Atlanta, meanwhile, missed an opportunity to move into first place Thursday, falling 5-1 in Carolina. Patrik Stefan scored the only goal for the Thrashers, who have dropped two straight and three of their last four contests. Pasi Nurminen made 28 saves in the loss. On Tuesday, the Thrashers dropped a 2-1 decision to visiting Ottawa at Philips Arena.
Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk was held point-less Thursday, but remains the league's leading goal-scorer with 13. He is also among the NHL's best with 21 points.
The Thrashers, 4-4-1-1 on the road, opened a brief trip Thursday and will return home to face Florida on Sunday.
Philadelphia went 3-1 against Atlanta last season and has won six of the last seven meetings. The Thrashers are 1-5-2 in the eight clashes played in Philly.
11/15 10:47:57 ET