Another dramatic win for Thrashers over Flyers

Here is my game story from Thursday’s victory over the Flyers for those who would like to comment.

If the Thrashers are going to make the playoffs, they will need to beat playoff-caliber teams down the stretch.

They did so Thursday.

The Thrashers earned a 4-3 shootout victory over Philadelphia, the top team in the Eastern Conference, at Philips Arena to keep their postseason hopes alive. Eleven games remain in the regular season and seven are against teams that began Thursday in playoff position.

Rob Schremp and Blake Wheeler, both acquired last month, scored shootout goals for the huge victory.

The Thrashers (30-29-12, 72 points) jumped to 10th in the conference with the win and some help. They are tied with Toronto four points behind Buffalo, Saturday’s opponent, for the eighth and final playoff spot. Carolina is ninth, two points ahead of the Thrashers. Toronto and New Jersey lost Thursday to help the Thrashers improve their position.

The Thrashers defeated the Flyers in extra time for the second time in six days and are 4-1-1 in their past six games.

“Regulation, overtime, shootout, it doesn’t matter,” Wheeler said. “We just need the two points. It makes the game against Buffalo huge. Now that we took care of business tonight it makes that game enormous.”

The Thrashers took three one-goal leads and could not hold any. Danny Briere scored his second goal of the game with 1:27 remaining, and with the Flyers goal empty, to tie the game at 3-3 and force overtime.

After Bryan Little missed his shootout attempt, Schremp and Wheeler scored. Thrashers goaltender Ondrej Pavelec stopped Mike Richards and Danny Briere.

Schremp said he freelanced his attempt.

“I’ll be honest with you, I don’t have a plan,” said Schremp, who the team claimed on waivers from the New York Islanders. “I just go in and read off the goalie. I literally don’t know what I did. I just made a move and that was what was open.”

Wheeler took a different approach.

“I’ve pretty much done the same move my last 20-something attempts,” said Wheeler, acquired in a trade with Boston. “I have to show a little different look every once in a while, throw a little curveball at them. These days with video goalies know the tendencies pretty well. I’ve been working on that move a lot it practice.”

Both moves paid off.

Nik Antropov scored his 13th goal of the season with 2:08 remaining in the second period to give the Thrashers a 3-2 lead. He fired a wrist shot past Flyers goaltender Brian Boucher on a pass from Chris Thorburn. The lead lasted until 87 seconds remained.

Antropov’s go-ahead goal came 3:22 after the Flyers tied the game at 2-2 on a fluky goal from Briere. Pavelec went behind his net and cleared a puck along the boards. It bounced off the Flyers’ Jeff Carter and back toward the net where Briere jammed it into the net before Pavelec could fully recover.

Little gave the Thrashers a 2-1 lead 4:35 into the second period when he knocked home the rebound of a Ron Hainsey shot. It was Little’s first goal in 17 games for a snake-bit player who has hit more iron than a blacksmith in recent weeks.

“It kind of matches our team,” Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said. “He’s played much better than his goal total would indicate. He’s been a strong, strong performer for us night in and night out. I haven’t seen anybody else hit as many goal post and it not go in.”

The Thrashers opened the scoring with a four-on-four goal from Tim Stapleton 6:59 into the first period. Evander Kane assisted for a three-game point streak (one goal, three assists). The Flyers answered 2:21 later on a goal by Claude Giroux.

Next up is a trip to Buffalo and a game with major implications in the playoff race.

“I always tell you I don’t look that far ahead, but you can’t help but not know where we are,” Ramsay said. “Our feeling is we want to win. We need to win every game. We are going into that with that mindset.”

34 comments Add your comment

Dan was my favorite Thrasher

March 17th, 2011
10:56 pm

Another lead lost in the 3rd. Thrashers must be the worst 3rd period team in the league.

goose

March 17th, 2011
11:18 pm

We have played one less game than the Leafs so we have sole possession of 10th place

Must win game in Buffalo, In regulation would be nice :)

Brendan

March 17th, 2011
11:29 pm

Ya know what?, rubbin’ my chin. Atlanta, with a “good” goal by Kane versus the Devils, would be 4-0-2 in their last six. My gosh. That actually ’sounds’ like a ‘playoff push.’ Who think the Thrashers have simply quit?

Well, if they have, they sure are getting good results from their ‘quitters mentality.’ I’m still trying to wrap my head around 4-0-2, if Kane’s goal counts, versus the Devils. Now, I don’t allow myself to think about the playoffs. Especially since I already called the ‘time of death’ after the Oilers loss, up in Edmonton.

I’m honestly thinking that 80-82 points is still possible. The team is now back on pace for last year’s 83-points. Two weeks ago, they were on pace for 67-points, winning at a .150 clip. 4-1-1 is still a good record, folks. Buffalo choked against Toronto last weekend, but rebounded versus Ottawa. Speaking of Ottawa, they beat the Devils AGAIN!! Yes, you heard right. It was a 3-1, regulation time win! And don’t look now, but Florida beat Toronto, 4-0. Leafs get Nothing!! Thrashers gain 2-points on Toronto, Buffalo, the NYR, and NJ. Can’t we just enjoy that? For one night?

Marcus Valdes

March 17th, 2011
11:30 pm

My son made it on TV with our High Stick protest sign.

Brendan

March 17th, 2011
11:37 pm

We gain on Carolina, too. Buffalo was stung by the Hurricanes, 1-0, this week, in Buffalo. The Sabres desperately need this win over Atlanta. Desperately.

Dallas blanked the Chicago Blackhawks, 5-0. That’s a huuge win for the Stars. Not sure if Kari was in net for that one. I was watching the Preds rally to win, in overtime, over the Bruins, 4-3. Great game. I couldn’t help myself, wondering what kind of Stanley Cup Finals a Bruins-Predators series might bring. Maybe one day. But probably not this year. Preds have to make it in, first.

Wow, Tampa Bay lost again. Oh, they got the ‘pity point,’ but … they needed that win, to chase the Flyers. I love it when the Sens and the Devils play. Ottawa, and its fans, have never forgotten Wade Redden’s “gaffe” that lead to a very LATE 3rd period goal, in Game Seven, of the 2003 Conference Finals. The win propelled the Devils into the Stanley Cup Finals vs. the Ducks that year. Ottawa, in 2003, was the favorite to win the Cup that year. Bygones, for them.

Gwinnett Fred

March 18th, 2011
1:45 am

Two to three groups reportedly interested in buying Thrashers and keeping them in the ATL.

In same time frame, team bags 9 out of a possible 12 points while team averages 16,000 a game over 3 home dates.

It just continues to show that if you give the hockey fans in Atlanta a reason to believe, they will support this team!!!!

Eon Rodeo

March 18th, 2011
1:48 am

Good game against the Flyers, but I still say the Leafs finish ahead of the Thrashers.

Go Leafs Go!

AtlFlamesFan

March 18th, 2011
7:28 am

Tim Stapleton’s firt 2 goals this year were one-foot tap-ins. His 3rd goal doubled his TGF (Total Goal Footage) to 4 with a two-footer. However, last night he shattered his TGF with a 15 foot wrister.

AtlFlamesFan

March 18th, 2011
7:30 am

Do you think that when the refs went into the locker room after the 2nd period, they saw replays of their pitiful penalties they called the Thrash (Hainsey’s interference and Buff’s holding calls were both jokes)? We sure got the breaks in the 3rd period; especially the non-call against Toby for tripping.

cheif of smoke

March 18th, 2011
7:31 am

Gwinnett Fred makes and excellent point the Thrashers drew 2K more Fans than the Playoff Bound Atlanta Hawks did on Weds NightI

AtlFlamesFan

March 18th, 2011
7:33 am

Robbie Schremp is a magician with the puck. I still have not witnessed his supposed defensive liabilities, but if so, at least get him some more PP time.

Since Slava was sent packing, we’ve needed a shoot-out automatic like Robbie. I wonder how many more points we would have had in the standings if we had him all year?

brett

March 18th, 2011
7:37 am

Good win last night!! But it still baffles me how we beat the likes of Philadelphia and Washington and can’t beat the Sens! I guess we play to the level of our competition?

Also, do you think the Thrash will win a game in regulation? If only they could protect a lead???

KLS1

March 18th, 2011
8:04 am

Need a regulation win against Buffalo…cannot give away any points to teams ahead of us.

Its nice to feel we are in the hunt…win in Buffalo and we can really start to get excited. Of course must wins games is where the Thrashers usually fall apart.

Joe McGrath

March 18th, 2011
9:16 am

I’d like to see a line of Schremp, Stapleton, Burmistrov.

Joe McGrath

March 18th, 2011
9:19 am

Pavs needs to put some urgency in getting back into position after playing the puck. He really seems to take his time, which led to a goal last night.

Shameus

March 18th, 2011
9:58 am

Please do not say anything negative about me or “Behind the Net” (”BTN”).

Don’t PM me. I will PM you.

Ox Baker

March 18th, 2011
10:11 am

Kari was in the net for Dallas last night.

Midfield

March 18th, 2011
10:19 am

Schremp, Stapleton, Burmistrov – you mean, the shrimp line? Although, Burmi has been hitting people as hard as he could yesterday.

AtlFlamesFan

March 18th, 2011
10:37 am

That would be a buzzsaw line. And yes, Burmi can hit some people.

Dwayne

March 18th, 2011
11:28 am

Brett, we had talked about that very same thing a few times already, remember the Nov. stretch against Was, Det and a few other top teams? That seems to be what is going on now. Also, at that point, we were talking about rammer being coach of year, my have times changed for rammer, lots of people want him gone.

BLUELANDbeliever

March 18th, 2011
11:48 am

Man those Flyers sure did put on a clinic out there….a diving clinic. LOL!

Great win, i was highly entertained, possibly one of the best games of the season in my opinion. And how about Robbie Schremp? He put that #13 to good use. Kozzy would be proud.

BLUELANDbeliever

March 18th, 2011
11:56 am

Goose, saturday is a must win in Reg period end of story. if it goes to ot or beyond then im afraid i will have to treat it as a loss even if we win.

Jimbo

March 18th, 2011
12:03 pm

The Mosquito line buzzed all nite. Now, we have yet another “MOST IMPORTANT GAME IN THRASHER HISTORY”. Will we finally win one?

They are not going to fire Ramsay

March 18th, 2011
12:07 pm

He will coach here next year. Period.

Back from NJ

March 18th, 2011
12:42 pm

Its the number. There is shootout MOJO with lucky number 13

WTF?

March 18th, 2011
1:45 pm

funny how all the flyers fans last night were so loud and proud until the end. They should have been sitting there with their noisy mouths shut because their once mighty team is sputtering into the playoffs and will sputter right out of the first round. I gave the flyers fans around me as much hell as I could about how bad their team has played lately. After the game it seems they all took off those flyers jerseys and just quietly slipped away. Go Thrashers !!!

sawweeet

March 18th, 2011
2:41 pm

Hated watching 3 leads squandered but great to see the W. Keep it up guys!

Dave

March 18th, 2011
2:51 pm

Hey “Dan was my favorite Thrasher” they won the friggin’ game and, again played their butts off. So sick of seeing the negative comments about the team and the coach. These guys are playing hard. Go Thrashers!

Buzzeng

March 18th, 2011
3:51 pm

” It was Little’s first goal in 17 games for a snake-bit player who has hit more iron than a blacksmith in recent weeks.”

Now THAT is funny!

Go Thrashers!!

Jimbo

March 18th, 2011
4:03 pm

Just read Chris Mason’s comments about the season. He mentions that early in the season we clogged the neutral zone and forced teams to dump and chase. But now, we’re allowing them a freer lane. DUH, DUH, DUH. WHERE IN THE WORLD HAS THE CLUELESS ONE BEEN? GET RID OF RAMSEY!!!!!!!!

Cornbread

March 18th, 2011
4:14 pm

To my fellow Flyer fans. Nice to see so many of you at the game last night. I’m sure many of you flew in from Philly to catch the game because tickets for your home games are hard to come by and lower level seats like those available for cheap in ATL are next to impossible to get. But, for those of you who live in GA how bout coming out to some other games during the year? And that goes for all of you other big hockey market fans. If you love the game of hockey then go and support it in Atlanta. You may not love the teams playing but it still is the best hockey being played in the world. And, you can get good seats easily and cheap.

Sage of Bluesland

March 18th, 2011
4:39 pm

I’ll give the team credit for last night’s win; I watched a bit of it (mostly as background to other items) and am impressed that we hung in there and pulled it out….and the typical drubbings I’m used to are moreso fewer and farther between, it seems.

I don’t know if that is statistically accurate or not–just a perception on my part.

At least our losses seem to be a little tighter these days. Maybe that truly is “incremental progress” which Alan referred to when putting forth that Don Waddell was doing a good job (back in the first “Five-Year Plan”, that is).

It is what it is.

litz

March 18th, 2011
4:52 pm

“I’d like to see a line of Schremp, Stapleton, Burmistrov.”

*nobody* in their right mind would move Stapes away from Kaner right now.

Those two are just magic waiting to happen.

Mr. Heat Miser

March 18th, 2011
5:37 pm

Wonder how many Flyers fans last night were bandwaggoners? Kudos to the Flyers fans for being loud and proud but don’t dare heckle me in my own house as i so rudely had to inform some of you. Good to see you tuck tail and run back to your nattio furniture.