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Thrashers beat Flyers 5-2 for third straight win

ATLANTA (AP) — Colby Armstrong scored two goals and the Atlanta Thrashers beat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 on Saturday night to continue their late postseason push.

The Thrashers have won three straight to move back into contention for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Atlanta trails eighth-place Boston by one point.

Atlanta had not won as many as three in a row since a four-game streak from Nov. 25-30.

Armstrong had his second straight two-goal game. Nik Antropov, Niclas Bergfors and Bryan Little also scored against Brian Boucher, who had 23 stops. Johan Hedberg made 25 saves for Atlanta.

Dan Carcillo and Blair Betts had goals for the Flyers.

Antropov, a 10-year veteran in his first season with the Thrashers, has emerged as Atlanta's scoring leader after the team traded Ilya Kovalchuk to New Jersey on Feb. 4 for four players, including Bergfors. Antropov has set a career high with 63 points, including 25 points in his last 21 games.

Antropov's leadership showed late in the game when he put Philadelphia's Scott Hartnell in a headlock after Hartnell took a swipe at Hedberg. Antropov drew a 2-minute penalty for roughing and Hartnell was called for slashing.

Goals by Bergfors and Armstrong in the first six minutes gave Atlanta a 2-0 lead. Carcillo answered for the Flyers 8:16 into the first period. Antropov and Betts traded goals in the second period, leaving the Thrashers with a 3-2 lead.

Little pushed the lead to 4-2 with his follow shot in front of the net midway through the third period. Armstrong added his second goal late in the period.

Philadelphia, which has been good on 23 percent of its power-play chances to rank third in the league, was 0 for 3 with a man advantage.

Boucher, who fell to 5-13-2, is the Flyers' third No. 1 goalie of the season, following injuries which ended the regular seasons of Ray Emery (hip) and Michael Leighton (left ankle sprain). Leighton was injured Tuesday night in a loss at Nashville.

The Thrashers are 3-0 in the season series. The teams play again Sunday in Philadelphia.

NOTES: Atlanta's Jim Slater and Philadelphia's Carcillo drew 5-minute penalties for fighting only 39 seconds into the game. About 3 minutes later, Atlanta's Eric Boulton and the Flyers' Ian Laperriere followed them into the penalty box after a fight. ... Slater also drew 2-minute roughing and tripping minors for a total of three penalties. ... The Flyers had only three shots on goal in the second period.