|Thrashers win first of the season; Flyers' Biron posts second straight shutout|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 19 October 2007 02:43|
With a new coach behind the bench and a looser feeling on the ice, the Thrashers made the most of Don Waddell's latest debut and earned their first win of the season by beating the New York Rangers 5-3 Thursday night.
Atlanta started 0-6 under hard-line coach Bob Hartley, who was deposed Wednesday and replaced by Waddell - also the general manager. Atlanta's losing ways actually stretched to 10 games counting the four-game playoff sweep against the Rangers after the Thrashers reached the postseason for the first time as Southeast Division champs.
``It's a good start for us,'' said backup goalie Johan Hedberg, who took over in the first period after Kari Lehtonen left with a groin injury. ``But we're still far, far away from where we want to be.''
In Philadelphia, such a turnaround is well under way.
Martin Biron made 38 saves in his second straight shutout for the streaking Flyers, who earned a rare home shutout against the New Jersey Devils. After knocking off the Thrashers on Tuesday, Biron turned the trick again with another 4-0 victory.
Mike Richards, Sami Kapanen, Jim Dowd and Joffrey Lupul scored for the Flyers, who won their fourth straight. The Flyers (5-1) have won the first three games of a four-game homestand and are on their first four-game winning streak since March 2006.
Not bad for a team that finished with an NHL-worst 56 points last season.
``You want to work on consistency, you want to work on durability and going for a long time,'' Biron said.
In other NHL games Thursday night, it was Boston 5, Tampa Bay 1; the New York Islanders 5, Washington 2; Ottawa 4, Montreal 3; Toronto 3, Florida 2; Calgary 4, Los Angeles 3; Edmonton 4, Phoenix 2; and Detroit 4, San Jose 2.
The Thrashers were the only winless team left in the NHL. It isn't clear how long Waddell will stay as coach, but his first stint lasted 10 games (4-5-1) before he found Hartley to replace Curt Fraser during the 2002-03 season.
At the first intermission, Waddell stood next to the tunnel, patting each player as they headed off with a 2-0 lead.
``It's always been my nature when I'm coaching,'' Waddell said. ``I wear my emotions on my sleeve.''
Pascal Dupuis put the Thrashers ahead 4:21 into the game, and Slava Kozlov stuffed the puck past Henrik Lundqvist during a two-man advantage just over 2 minutes later. Todd White added a short-handed goal midway through the second period, and the Rangers never recovered.
``We haven't played from the lead,'' Waddell said. ``It was important to get the crowd into the game. We could have had four goals in the first period.''
Rookie Bryan Little and Marian Hossa scored for Atlanta, twice giving the Thrashers a four-goal lead. Dan Girardi, Brendan Shanahan and Scott Gomez had late goals for New York.
``It looks like it's impossible for our team to get a fast start,'' Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist said. ``They got momentum. We had to play on our heels.''
Bruins 4, Lightning 1
Marco Sturm scored two goals as the Bruins beat Tampa Bay in their home opener to give coach Claude Julien a victory in his Boston debut.
Tim Thomas made 34 saves and Peter Schaefer and Mark Stuart also scored for Boston, which has won four of five since losing the season opener.
Johan Holmqvist stopped 20 shots for Tampa Bay, and Brad Richards scored the Lightning's only goal.
Islanders 5, Capitals 2
Bill Guerin scored his first three goals with the visiting Islanders, two on the power play. Guerin netted one goal in the first period and two in the third.
Rick DiPietro made 27 saves as the Islanders snapped a two-game losing streak. New York went 3-for-5 on the power play and rallied for three late goals after blowing a 2-0, third-period lead.
Bryan Berard gave the Islanders a 3-2 lead, Sean Bergenheim also scored, and Chris Campoli had four assists.
Alex Ovechkin and Tomas Flesichmann scored for the Capitals, who have lost three in a row after opening with three wins.
Senators 4, Canadiens 3
Jason Spezza scored his first goal of the season, Nick Foligno netted the first of his career, and host Ottawa beat Montreal.
After Alex Kovalev scored Montreal's second power-play goal 12:51 into the third to tie it at 3, Spezza restored the Senators' lead 24 seconds later.
Wade Redden, who assisted on Foligno's goal, scored on a power play 31 seconds in and Dany Heatley recorded his 400th career point with his seventh goal.
Daniel Alfredsson had three assists as Ottawa won for the seventh time in eight games.
Maple Leafs 3, Panthers 2
Nik Antropov's goal with 27.6 seconds left lifted Toronto to a comeback win at home. Bryan McCabe and Jason Blake also scored for the Leafs, who trailed 2-0 after the first period.
David Booth and Rostislav Olesz had goals for Florida, which had its three-game winning streak snapped.
Oilers 4, Coyotes 2
Raffi Torres scored twice, including the go-ahead goal on a circus shot with 8:05 to play, and Edmonton snapped a four-game losing streak.
Kyle Brodziak and Shawn Horcoff also scored for the Oilers, who won for the first time in four road games despite managing only a season-low 18 shots on goal.
Flames 4, Kings 3
Daymond Langkow had two goals and an assist as host Calgary erased an early deficit and beat Los Angeles.
It was the seventh straight game to open the season that a Flames player had two goals - breaking the NHL mark set by Ottawa in 1917 and matched by the Senators three years later.
Langkow's first goal was his 200th in the NHL. Kristian Huselius also scored for the Flames.
Mike Cammalleri, Dustin Brown, and Anze Kopitar scored for Los Angeles, which has lost six of seven.
Red Wings 4, Sharks 2
Matt Ellis put visiting Detroit ahead with his first NHL goal with 12:26 to play, and the Red Wings rallied for the win.
Pavel Datsyuk scored during a two-man advantage moments later, and Chris Osgood made 23 saves as the Red Wings earned their fourth victory in six games. Henrik Zetterberg extended his goal-scoring streak to five games.
Mike Grier and Jonathan Cheechoo scored and Evgeni Nabokov stopped 23 shots for the Sharks.