Stewart’s hat trick key to win

SAN JOSE, Calif. — It wasn’t a bad night — or career — for

Anthony Stewart.

The

Thrashers forward scored three

goals, one shy of his NHL career total, and Nigel Dawes scored a

lone shootout goal as the

Thrashers defeated host Anaheim 5-4

Friday night for a come-from-behind victory.

The

Thrashers moved on to San Jose after

the game, where they played the Sharks late Saturday night.

“I have to keep going,” said Stewart, who had four career NHL

goals. “I’m still trying to prove myself in this league, so anyway

I can contribute is great.”

Stewart scored twice in the third period on power plays,

including the game-tying goal with 5:22 left in regulation, as the

Thrashers rallied from a 4-2

deficit. He also scored 17 seconds into the game to start the

dramatic win.

By scoring three times on the power play, the

Thrashers finally got results from a

unit that entered the game just 1-for-14 (7 percent). Their lone

goal came on a 5-on-3 situation. With a 3-for-4 night with a

man-advantage, the

Thrashers improved to 4-for-18 (22

percent).

But Friday night, and the comeback, belonged to Stewart. Coaches

and teammates implored him before the game to better the night of

his brother, Chris, who had a two-point night for Colorado.

“We mentioned that to him,”

Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said.

“It was his job to have a big family night. He loved it. He did it.

There were a bunch of people that mentioned it to him, and he

wanted to do it.”

Valabik clears waivers

Defenseman Boris Valabik cleared waivers Saturday and will be

assigned to AHL Chicago. The former 10th overall pick had hoped to

be claimed by another team for a second chance to be a regular NHL

player. However, he said Friday that he will report to Chicago if

unclaimed for a chance to work on his game and get needed playing

time.

Bergfors scratched

Forward Niclas Bergfors was a healthy scratch in Friday’s game

against Anaheim.

When asked why Bergfors, who had eight goals and nine assists in

27 games for the

Thrashers last season, was

scratched, Ramsay said: “I thought with our lineup we had a chance

to put [Jim] Slater in there. Looking at it, he just seemed like

the guy to come out. There is no particular magic to it. I’m glad,

as it turned out, maybe Dawes is an easy choice [to scratch]. The

guy is a [free-agent] sign. I think he’s played pretty well and

obviously in the shootout he did the job. It’s never fun to be the

guy that gets pulled out. It won’t last. There will be adjustments.

He’ll be back. We’d like to be able to play all the people, and it

doesn’t always work out that way. His job is to be ready to go when

he gets tapped back.”

Bergfors signed a one-year, $900,000 contract with the

Thrashers as a restricted free

agent in the offseason. He also had 13 goals and 14 assists with

New Jersey before joining the

Thrashers as part of the Ilya

Kovalchuk trade.

Late Friday

Thrashers 5, Mighty Ducks 4

Atlanta 1 1 2 0 — 5

Anaheim 1 2 1 0 — 4

Atlanta won shootout 1-0

First Period

1, Atlanta, Stewart 1 (Ladd, Little), :17. 2, Anaheim, Perry 2

(Visnovsky, Getzlaf), 8:43 (pp). Penalties — Thorburn, Atl,

served by Dawes, minor-major (roughing, fighting), 7:54; Parros,

Ana, major (fighting), 7:54; Little, Atl (hooking), 17:52.

Second Period

3, Anaheim, Lydman 1 (Selanne, Beleskey), 9:43. 4, Atlanta,

Thorburn 3 (Byfuglien, Enstrom), 13:21 (pp). 5, Anaheim, Selanne 2

(Koivu, Perry), 19:08 (pp). Penalties — Peverley, Atl (tripping),

3:30; Thorburn, Atl (tripping), 10:36; Visnovsky, Ana (tripping),

12:19; Antropov, Atl (hooking), 17:50.

Third Period

6, Anaheim, Getzlaf 2 (Perry, Selanne), 6:35 (pp). 7, Atlanta,

Stewart 2 (Peverley, Oduya), 10:35 (pp). 8, Atlanta, Stewart 3

(Byfuglien, Enstrom), 14:38 (pp). Penalties — Lydman, Ana

(hooking), 2:15; Meyer, Atl (hooking), 6:22; Mikkelson, Ana

(high-sticking), 8:50; Perry, Ana (slashing), 13:48; Eager, Atl

(hooking), 14:55.

Overtime — None. Penalties — None.

Shootout — Atlanta 1 (Kane NG, Peverley NG, Little NG, Dawes

G), Anaheim 0 (Perry NG, Getzlaf NG, Selanne NG, Koivu NG).

Shots on Goal

Atlanta 10-8-11-4—33. Anaheim 11-18-11-1—41.

Power-play opportunities

Atlanta 3 of 4; Anaheim 3 of 7.

Goalies

Atlanta, Mason 2-2-0 (41 shots-37 saves). Anaheim, Hiller 1-3-1

(33-29).

A — 13,123 (17,174). T—2:38.

Referees — Mike Leggo, Justin St. Pierre. Linesmen—Bryan

Pancich, Mark Wheler.