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Bergfors scores first goal with Thrashers as they beat Florida Panthers 4-2

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Bergfors scores first goal with Thrashers as they beat Florida Panthers 4-2

The Canadian Press
By:

ATLANTA - Niclas Bergfors didn't waste any time scoring his first goal with the Atlanta Thrashers.

Bergfors scored the go-ahead goal with 4:26 left and the Thrashers beat the Florida Panthers 4-2 on Saturday night to end a three-game losing streak.

Bergfors, playing his second game for the Thrashers after joining the team in a trade that sent superstar Ilya Kovalchuk to New Jersey, scored on a 15-foot blast that went between goalie Tomas Vokoun's legs. Bergfors had 14 goals this season.

"It had been a month since I scored a goal," he said. "It was great. It means a lot."

Actually, it was more like five weeks. His last goal came was Dec. 30 against Pittsburgh.

He played his first game with Atlanta in a 5-2 loss at Washington on Friday night. He still hasn't practised with the team.

"It's nice to get practise, but it doesn't necessarily mean that much," said Bergfors, a rookie who was a first round pick by the Penguins (23rd overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

"Very opportunist," said Atlanta coach John Anderson of Bergfors. "I was telling him after the second period, don't be afraid to be a hero. Lo and behold. Great shot, great play."

Evander Kane added an empty-net goal for Atlanta, his 12th, with 1:14 left.

Radek Dvorak scored twice in the first period to give Florida a 2-0 lead, but the Thrashers' Max Afinogenov and Bryan Little countered in the second.

"We had the game under control. We were up by two goals, then the game shifted a little bit to their side," Dvorak said.

Dvorak, scoreless in his previous 15 games after scoring three goals in a 6-2 win over Pittsburgh on Jan. 3, got his first goal at 6:18 of the opening period. He directed a shot by Jordan Leopold past goalie Johan Hedberg. Dvorak added his 11th with 3:15 left, knocking in a rebound of a blast from Kamil Kreps.

"We have to keep pushing and pressing and play our game," he said. "In the end, it's 4-2. We have to learn from that."

Afinogenov got the Thrashers on the board with a power-play goal 3:49 into the second period, beating Vokoun from in close for his 18th goal. Little tied it at two with his ninth goal on a rebound of a shot by Tobias Enstrom at 8:39.

Nik Antropov assisted on all three Atlanta goals.

The Panthers lost their third straight and fourth in five games.

NOTES: The game, scheduled to start at 7 p.m. ET, was delayed until 7:53 p.m. when the Thrashers had problems returning to Atlanta from Washington due to snow. The Thrashers, who lost 5-2 at Washington on Friday night, took a four-hour bus ride to Richmond, Va., including a minor accident with a truck on I-95 before taking a charter flight to Atlanta. It landed just before 6 p.m. "It was an interesting day to say the least," said Anderson. ... Vokoun started his 18th consecutive game for the Panthers. ... Florida was 0 for 7 on power plays.

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Bergfors scores first goal with Thrashers as they beat Florida Panthers 4-2