NHL Game Summary - Atlanta at Philadelphia
(Saturday, November 5th)
Final Score: Philadelphia 4, Atlanta 3
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Simon Gagne recorded a hat trick for the Philadelphia Flyers, who defeated the Atlanta Thrashers 4-3 at the Wachovia Center.
Two of Gagne's goals came on the power play and he also added an assist for the Flyers, who recorded their fourth straight victory. He finished the game as the league-leader in goals with 15.
Gagne's linemate, Peter Forsberg, had a goal and an a pair of assists on the night.
"It's a dominant line. What can I say?," said Flyers head coach Ken Hitchcock.
Goaltender Robert Esche made 28 saves on 31 shots.
Marian Hossa, Peter Bondra and Serge Aubin each lit the lamp for the Thrashers, who have dropped five out of six. Greg de Vries had three helpers in a losing effort, while Mike Dunham made just 14 saves on 18 shots.
The Flyers went on a 5-on-3 power play early in the first and cashed in to take a 1-0 lead. Forsberg held the puck in the right slot for several seconds before feathering a pass in front to Gagne, who tucked it home at the 3:46 mark.
Gagne returned the favor later in the frame, feeding Forsberg in the slot from the right circle. Forsberg had his first chance denied, but got the disc right back and beat Dunham through the five-hole to give Philadelphia a 2-0 lead.
The Thrashers cut the lead in half midway through the second on a power play goal. Vyacheslav Kozlov found Hossa down low, and Hossa moved from right to left before wrapping it around Esche with 7:20 remaining.
Gagne netted his second power-play goal of the night at the 1:12 mark of the third period, beating Dunham with a wrister from between the circles to put the Flyers up 3-1.
"I'm having a great time right now," Gagne said. "The last two years I had a tough time, but this year I'm having a lot of fun coming to the rink. I don't know if it's the new NHL or not, but it's definitely better for me."
Bondra answered for the Thrashers about nine minutes later with a power-play tally of his own. After receiving a pass from Kozlov along the goal line, he executed a pretty shot from an odd angle that tucked just under the crossbar.
Gagne's third goal of the night proved to be the game-winner, as he corralled a rebound and flicked it into the open net with 4:20 remaining for a 4-2 lead.
Aubin scored a late goal to again make it a one-goal game, but the Flyers held on to preserve the home win.
This was Gagne's fifth two-goal game of 2005. He has eight goals in his last five games...Philadelphia has won six straight games at home...The Flyers have won three straight and five of the last six meetings with Atlanta... The Thrashers have lost three in a row in Philadelphia and haven't won in the City of Brotherly Love since January 13, 2003.
11/05 22:38:35 ET