NHL Game Summary - Philadelphia at Atlanta
(Wednesday, December 28th)
Final Score: Philadelphia 4, Atlanta 3 (OT)
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Sami Kapanen scored the game-winning goal just 13 seconds into overtime to lead the Philadelphia Flyers past the Atlanta Thrashers, 4-3, at Philips Arena.
Simon Gagne, Brian Savage and Branko Radivojevic all scored in regulation for the Flyers, who won their fourth game in a row. Kapanen also had an assist while Michal Handzus added two helpers in the win.
Antero Niittymaki made 28 saves in the victory.
"These games are what build a team, especially on a road trip," said Handzus.
Niclas Havelid, Eric Boulton and Andy Sutton all netted goals for the Thrashers, who had their modest two-game winning streak halted. Michael Garnett, who had posted back-to-back shutouts coming into the contest, allowed four goals on 32 shots faced.
In overtime, Handzus carried the puck into the left circle and wound up to take a shot, but he sent a pass to a darting Kapanen. The forward tipped the pass by Garnett for the win.
"I just kept skating through the middle and tried to find an opening for the pass," said Kapanen. "Handzus made a real good shot-pass and I just tipped it up high and (it) went in."
"It was just an amazing play that I don't think anyone could have stopped," said Garnett of the goal.
The teams were tied at two after the first period, but Sutton's short-handed tally at the 8:26 mark of the second staked Atlanta to a 3-2 edge. However, a Radivojevic shot from in close went over Garnett's right shoulder to tie the contest with 6:22 left in the second.
"I think we lost our focus in the second period when we could (have) put the Flyers away," said Atlanta head coach Bob Hartley.
The teams combined for 17 shots in the third, but neither team lit the lamp.
Gagne's 26th goal of the season staked the Flyers to a 1-0 lead less then three minutes into the game, ending Garnett's franchise-best shutout streak at 151 minutes and 55 seconds.
However, Atlanta countered with two straight goals to take a lead. Havelid's third goal of the season at the 10:59 mark of the first to tie the contest and Boulton's goal 2:12 later staked the Thrashers to a 2-1 edge.
Savage's goal with 2:56 remaining in the first tied the contest at 2-2.
Philadelphia improved to 2-0-1 against Atlanta this season...The Thrashers have just two wins in 11 games against the Flyers at Philips Arena... Philadelphia has recorded points in 12 of their last 14 games...Atlanta has earned a point in a franchise-record nine straight games...Havelid picked up his 100th career NHL point...Philadelphia improved to 3-0-0 on its 11 game road trip...Peter Forsberg picked up his 39th assist for the Flyers while Marc Savard notched his 34th helper for Atlanta.
12/28 23:01:51 ET