Panthers 4, Thrashers 3
Michael Frolik scored with 1:21 left to lift the Florida
Panthers to a 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Wednesday
Stephen Weiss, Radek Dvorak and Bryan McCabe also scored for
Florida, and Tomas Vokoun stopped 20 shots.
Ilya Kovalchuk, Nik Antropov and Vyacheslav Kozlov scored for
Atlanta, which overcame a three-goal deficit to tie the game in the
Johan Hedberg made 25 saves for Atlanta.
On the winning goal, Frolik poked in a rebound, putting the puck
high in the net.
Kovalchuk started Atlanta’s comeback with his 18th goal of the
season. His slap shot from the left circle beat Vokoun and cut
Florida’s lead to 3-1 with 2:08 left in the second period. Atlanta
made it 3-2 at 1:59 of the third when Antropov, positioned in front
of Vokoun at the crease, pushed a rebounding puck under the
The Thrashers tied it at 6:27 of the third period when Kozlov
picked up a loose puck in the high slot and scored on a slap
McCabe scored at 2:54 in the second period to give Florida a 3-0
lead. He took a pass from Victor Oreskovich then shot from the
right circle, sending the puck under a leaping Jeff Taffe and into
the net for his fourth goal of the season.
The Panthers made it 2-0 with Dvorak’s goal at 8:19 in the first
period. Dvorak took a pass from Steven Reinprecht and scored with a
shot from the low slot.
Weiss opened the scoring at 6:42 in the first. Hedberg stopped
the initial shot from Nathan Horton, but then Weiss put in the
rebounding puck with a wrist shot. It was the 16th goal of the
season for Weiss and his third in three games.
Entering Wednesday night’s game, Florida had dropped six of its
last seven home games, and all but one of those seven contests had
gone into overtime or a shootout.
The Thrashers had already twice met the Panthers this season,
both games that ended in disappointment for Florida. Maxim
Afinogenov scored the winning goal with 6 seconds remaining to lift
the Thrashers to a 4-3 win on Nov. 30, and Kovalchuk scored with
1:04 left in regulation in a Dec. 5 game that the Thrashers
eventually won 2-1 in a shootout.
NOTES: Florida coach Pete DeBoer said Panthers C Gregory
Campbell (upper-body injury) might be able to return Friday night
against Carolina. Campbell, who turns 26 on Thursday, has missed
five games. … Panthers LW David Booth (concussion) has resumed
light skating. He was on the ice Wednesday morning, but left