New York, NY (Sports Network) – Niclas Bergfors and Andrew Ladd each had a goal and an assist as the Atlanta Thrashers survived to take a 6-4 win over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Evander Kane, Bryan Little, Dustin Byfuglien and Eric Boulton each lit the lamp for the Thrashers, who snapped a three-game slide. Chris Mason stopped 24-of-28 shots in the win.
“It shows that if we get the puck deep in the offensive zone we can create the chances,” said Atlanta coach Craig Ramsay. “We have some people on the ice that can create the chances and put them away.”
Sean Avery and Ryan Callahan each tallied a goal and an assist for the Rangers, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Martin Biron gave up five goals on 25 shots in the loss.
“You’ve gotta make the big saves when you’re asked to do it,” said Biron. “And tonight there were a couple of times I could have made that big save that would have kept the game tight, but it didn’t happen for me.”
Atlanta held a three-goal lead in the third, but quickly saw that shrink to one as Todd White’s first goal of the season came against his former team at the 7:56 mark. Brian Boyle’s one-timer from the right side off a feed from Avery made it a 5-4 game with 9:53 to play.
Just over three minutes later, Matt Gilroy nearly tied the game when his blast from the left circle went off the right post.
New York got Biron out of the net with under two minutes to play, but was unable to net the equalizer, and Ladd’s empty-netter sealed the win.
The Rangers struck just 38 seconds in when the forecheck resulted in a turnover. Artem Anisimov sent a pass from behind the net to the front, where Callahan chipped it in.
The Thrashers tied the game with 8:32 to play in the first. Little skated almost the length of the ice, getting past several New York players, and switched to the backhand before sliding the puck between Biron’s pads.
Halfway through the second, the Thrashers went ahead. Alexander Burmistrov had the puck along the right boards and sent it to a charging Kane, who shifted to get by a defender and wristed the puck into the right corner.
The Rangers tied it on a nice effort by Avery, whose good work behind the net was rewarded when his wraparound from the right side got past Mason at the 12:48 mark.
However, Atlanta got a 2-on-1 just over three minutes later, with Bergfors opting for the shot and burying a wrister into the right corner for a 3-2 lead.
Atlanta extended the lead just 49 seconds into the third when Boulton lifted a backhander past Biron during a scrum in front.
Just over four minutes later the Thrashers made it a 5-2 game, as Byfuglien’s slap shot from the right circle blew past Biron for a power-play tally.
The Rangers host the Hurricanes on Friday…The Thrashers host Buffalo on Friday…Atlanta took three of four from the Rangers last season…The Rangers had given up just four goals in their previous three games…Atlanta went 1- for-3 on the power play while New York failed to score on its only man- advantage.