Flyers-Thrashers Preview

Philadelphia’s latest winning streak ended on a frustrating

note. Facing the Atlanta Thrashers might make it tough for the

Flyers to bounce back.

The Eastern Conference-leading Flyers look to avoid a fifth

consecutive loss to the host Thrashers on Friday night.

Philadelphia (27-11-5) took a four-game winning streak into

Boston on Thursday, but allowed five third-period goals in a 7-5

loss and failed to extend its one-point lead over Pittsburgh in the

Atlantic Division.

“It was just one of those nights,” Flyers goaltender Brian

Boucher said of a game that featured five lead changes.

Philadelphia will now seek to avoid dropping consecutive road

games for the first time since October, but that could be easier

said than done.

The Flyers have dropped four straight meetings with the

Thrashers – two in Atlanta – following a 14-game winning streak in

the series. Philadelphia is 0 for 13 on the power play during its

current losing streak to the Thrashers.

Scott Hartnell, who has gone without a point in those four

losses, scored for the sixth time in five games Thursday night.

Danny Briere and Nikolay Zherdev each had a goal and an assist

in the loss to the Bruins. Briere has five goals and five assists

his last five games overall, but has failed to record a point in

his last three against the Thrashers.

Zherdev returned after missing four games with a leg injury.

Boucher allowed six goals – one more than he’d given up during a

three-game winning streak – at Boston. That could open the door for

rookie Sergei Bobrovsky to make his second start of 2011.

Bobrovsky, 16-6-3 with a 2.55 goals-against average on the

season, avoided a third straight loss by stopping 38 shots in a 5-2

win at Buffalo on Tuesday.

The Thrashers (22-16-7) have lost two in a row and seven of 10

following a 12-2-2 stretch.

Two days after a 9-3 home loss to Toronto, Atlanta was more

competitive in Sunday’s 4-3 overtime loss at Carolina.

“Right now we’re not playing the hockey we want to play,”

goaltender Ondrej Pavelec told the Thrashers’ official website. “We

have to come back to our hockey because I think it’s all about us.

Just focus on our team.”

Pavelec looks to get back on track after posting a 3.74 GAA

while losing five of eight. He stopped 44 shots in a 3-1 win at

Philadelphia on March 21 – his only career appearance against the

Flyers.

“You let in a bad goal or you have a bad game, you have to

forget,” Pavelec said. “You have to focus for the next game. I’m

just looking forward. If you win games, your confidence goes high

and the puck seems like a beachball.”

Brian Little scored twice and recently-named All-Star Tobias

Enstrom added two assists in Sunday’s defeat. Enstrom has a goal

and six assists in his last four games.

Fellow Thrashers All-Star Dustin Byfuglien will be facing the

Flyers for the first time since totaling three goals and three

assists against them in last season’s Stanley Cup finals while with

Chicago.