Originally created 01/06/01

Flyers stop Thrashers



ATLANTA -- The Philadelphia Flyers scored three goals in the first 2:19, then held on for a 6-4 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Friday night.

Keith Primeau had two goals for the Flyers, who nearly squandered a 5-0 lead before improving to 6-2-4 since Bill Barber took over as coach for Craig Ramsey.

The Flyers built their big lead just past the midway point of the second period, only to have the Thrashers mount a determined comeback that fell just short.

Andrew Brunette, who scored Atlanta's first goal at 12:20 of the second period, brought the Thrashers within 5-4 on a power play with just under seven minutes remaining. He got loose at the side of the net and redirected a pass from Donald Audette past goalie Roman Cechmanek.

The Thrashers, cheered on by a raucous crowd and pouring everyone into the offensive zone, got another power play a half-minute later when Patrik Stefan was dragged down in front of the net.

Brunette had a great chance in front of the net during a 2-on-1 break, but Cechmanek slid across the crease to make one of his best saves of the night and keep the Flyers ahead.

Mark Recchi sealed the victory with 30.3 seconds remaining, knocking in an open-net goal from just inside the red line. He also had three assists.

Atlanta goalie Damian Rhodes, who made a season-high 35 saves in a 1-1 tie with Minnesota on Wednesday, failed to stop anything on this night as the Flyers scored on their first three shots.

Milan Hnilicka replaced Rhodes after Primeau scored to make it 3-0 with 17:41 still remaining in the first period. It was the earliest exit of Rhodes' eight-year NHL career.

Rusian Fedotenko beat Rhodes with a high shot through a screen just 42 seconds after the opening faceoff. At 1:38, Justin Williams made it 2-0 when he deflected a shot past the helpless Thrashers goalie.

Finally, Primeau beat Rhodes with another deflection, grazing a shot by Recchi just enough to find the net.

Jeff Odgers and Chris Tamer scored in the third period for the Thrashers, who are 0-3-1 since getting above .500 for the first time in franchise history. Audette and Ray Ferraro each had three assists.

Notes: In honor of Elvis Presley's birthday on Monday, a King impersonator sang the national anthem and highlights of Presley movies were shown on the video screen throughout the night. ... Play was stopped in the third period when a piece of paper got stuck on the stick of Atlanta defenseman Frantisek Kaberle and he couldn't shake it loose. ... The Thrashers outshot the Flyers 29-24, only the eighth time in 40 games that Atlanta has managed more shots than its opponent.