Thrashers stay hot, win fourth in a row

Associated Press
Atlanta Thrashers center Rich Peverley, right, celebrates his goal with teammate Garnet Exelby, left, against the Florida Panthers.

SUNRISE, Fla. --- Rich Peverley scored his second goal of the game in the third period to break a tie and lift the Atlanta Thrashers to a 3-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Friday.


Todd White added an empty-net goal for the Thrashers with 1:03 left as Panthers goalie Craig Anderson headed to the bench. Colby Armstrong had two assists for Atlanta, which earned its fourth consecutive win and fifth in six games.

Gregory Campbell scored the lone goal for Florida, which missed a chance to tie the eighth-place New York Rangers in points at the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff race.

The Thrashers have already been eliminated from playoff contention but have served as spoilers down the stretch.

Johan Hedberg made 35 saves for the Thrashers.


In Washington, the Capitals clinched their second consecutive Southeast Division title despite losing to Buffalo on Jason Pominville's breakaway goal 1:51 into overtime.

The point awarded for getting to overtime was enough to give the Capitals a nine-point cushion ahead of second-place Carolina, which has four games left.

Derek Roy, Drew Stafford, Clarke MacArthur and Maxim Afinogenov also scored for Buffalo, which is hanging onto faint hopes of earning a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.


In Philadelphia, Jeff Carter scored three goals, Danny Briere had a goal and three assists, and the Flyers beat Toronto.

Simon Gagne, Randy Jones, Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell also had goals for the Flyers, who passed Carolina for fourth place in the Eastern Conference.


In Newark, N.J., Martin Brodeur made seven saves in a rare relief role, and Zach Parise scored in overtime as New Jersey snapped a six-game losing streak with a win over Tampa Bay.

The Devils swept the four-game series from the Lightning.


In St. Paul, Minn., the Wild finally figured out Miikka Kip-rusoff with three goals on 10 shots in the first period for a victory over Calgary that kept their slim playoff chances alive.

The Wild moved within two points of idle eighth-place St. Louis and the postseason cutoff in the Western Conference.



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