Thrashers claim crucial shootout win vs. Flyers

Philadelphia Flyers goalie Brian Boucher (33) turns away a shot as defenseman Kimmo Timonen (44) drags down Atlanta Thrashers' Chris Thorburn (27) to the ice during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday March 17, 2011 in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

March 17, 2011 7:06:16 PM PDT
Rob Schremp and Blake Wheeler scored for Atlanta in the shootout, giving the Thrashers a crucial 4-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers after squandering three leads Thursday night.

The Thrashers closed within four points of the eighth-place Buffalo Sabres in the playoff race with their second win in six days over the Eastern Conference-leading Flyers. Atlanta will face Buffalo on Saturday.

Danny Briere scored two goals, including a tying shot with 1:17 left in regulation for the Flyers, who overcame three one-goal deficits.

But goals by Schremp and Wheeler in the shootout finally gave the Thrashers a lead that couldn't be overcome. Ondrej Pavelec blocked Philadelphia's first attempt by Mike Richards, and Briere fired wide in the second round.