Biron, Flyers blank winless Thrashers
The Philadelphia Flyers are back in a more familiar position in the standings.
Jeff Carter and Sami Kapanen scored 34 seconds apart in the second period, and Martin Biron was sensational again in leading the hometown Flyers past the winless Atlanta Thrashers 4-0 on Tuesday night.
Biron made 31 saves for his first shutout since the Flyers acquired him from Buffalo in February to solidify the No. 1 goaltender spot.
Biron posted his 19th NHL shutout and his first since April 18, 2006.
It came a game after he stopped 29 of 30 shots in another victory.
Mike Richards and Randy Jones also scored for the Flyers (4-1), who didn't win their fourth game last season until Nov. 15.
Don't tell Philadelphia it's too early to look at the standings.
After the Flyers suffered through the worst season in franchise history a year ago, they desperately wanted a fantastic start to erase any lingering memories of finishing last in the NHL.
The Flyers are getting contributions from everyone.
Carter and Kapanen each scored for the second straight game.
Carter and Daniel Briere both have four goals and eight others have goals —an impressive stat for a team that last season didn't get much production after the first line.
For every team that takes a leap in the standings, there's usually one that tumbles.
This time, it's the woeful Thrashers.
Even with Marian Hossa back after a three-game absence with a groin injury, the Thrashers lost their sixth straight game and are the only team in the NHL without a win.
Because all the losses have come in regulation, the Thrashers — also swept in their first playoff appearance last spring — don't even have a point.
Abysmal power play
One reason is their abysmal power play.
Atlanta was 2-for-21 entering the game, and failed to score on five chances against the Flyers.
Johan Hedberg stopped all 12 shots in the first period and the Flyers seemed to be missing some zip.
Those spells of lethargic play have gnawed at head coach John Stevens all season, but Philadelphia got it over early.
Richards scored his third goal 81 seconds into the second period, sneaking the puck past Hedberg on his glove side.
Carter scored his fourth goal with 7:04 left on a wrister over Hedberg's left shoulder.
The crowd was still celebrating and the goal was being announced when Kapanen made it 3-0.
R.J. Umberger's shot from the circle bounced off Hedberg's pads and floated in front of the net, just enough time for a charging Kapanen to whip the puck into the empty net.
The Thrashers couldn't recover and lost to the Flyers for the seventh straight time dating back to Nov. 18, 2005.
Biron, who has started all five games, made the save of the night late in the first period.
Eric Perrin's high shot whirled Biron around.
He stopped the puck, landed on his back with his head pointed straight at the blue faceoff circle and earned a standing ovation.
Jones scored his first goal of the season in the third to make it 4-0.