NHL Preview from The Sports Network |
Sunday, December 21st
(All times eastern)
Philadelphia Flyers (18-4-8-3) at Atlanta Thrashers (17-14-3-1), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Thrashers try to keep their offensive momentum
going tonight when they host the Philadelphia Flyers at Philips Arena.
The Thrashers had been shut out in a franchise record three-straight games
before clobbering the Pittsburgh Penguins, 7-4, at the Igloo on Saturday
Ilya Kovalchuk tallied two goals and three assists to lead Atlanta, which
ended a three-game slide and picked up its first win since pounding
Pittsburgh, 6-3, on December 12. Kovalchuk is second in the NHL with 40
points (20g, 20a) and trails Washington's Robert Lang by two.
Slava Kozlov scored two goals and added a pair of assists and Marc Savard
collected a goal and four assists for the Thrashers.
Ronald Petrovicky started the offensive onslaught, scoring a goal just eight
seconds into the first period -- the fastest tally to start a game in team
history. The goal also halted Atlanta's scoreless drought at 182 minutes and
Atlanta, which is 10-7-2 at home this year, has 38 points and leads Tampa Bay
by five for first place in the Southeast Division.
The Flyers, meanwhile, halted a five-game winless streak with a 3-1 victory
over the New York Islanders on Saturday afternoon. Jim Vandermeer scored a
pair of goals to lead Philadelphia to the victory at the Wachovia Center.
Simon Gagne also scored for Philadelphia, which ended a three-game losing
streak and won for the first time in six games (1-1-2-2).
Robert Esche made 18 saves in the win. It was the first action for Esche since
he suffered a groin injury on December 5 against Phoenix.
The Flyers, who begin a season-long eight-game road trip tonight, have 47
points and are tied with Toronto for the best record in the NHL.
Philadelphia has won two straight meetings and is 12-1-2 in the last 15
matchups. The Flyers' latest victory over the Thrashers came on November 15
with a 4-0 blanking at the Wachovia Center.
The Flyers are also unbeaten in their last seven trips (6-0-1) to Atlanta.
12/21 10:27:32 ET