Mark Streit, Tim Jackman and Rob Schremp all scored goals, however Atlanta's offense was too much to handle as the Islanders fell to the Thrashers, 6-3 at the Philips Arena.
Niclas Bergfors put the Thrashers up on the board first just 5:04 into the first period to give Atlanta a one-goal lead. With the Islanders caught on a line change and just defensemen Mark Streit and Bruno Gervais, Nik Antropov sent a low pass deep to Bryan Little. Little then sent a cross-ice pass over to Bergfors, which drew Islanders goaltender Dwayne Rolsoon down to the ice. The newly acquired Bergfors followed up, one-timing the pass past Roloson for his fifth goal in a Thrashers uniform and 17th on the year.
Antropov was involved again, putting the Thrashers up by two goals just 2:47 later in the first period. Little led a two-on-rush rush with Antropov with just Jack Hillen back for the Islanders. he then fed a cross-ice pass over to his centerman, which Antropov one-timed pass a sliding Roloson for a 2-0 Atlanta lead.
Atlanta wasn't through, as another newly acquired Thrasher, Clarke MacArthur gave the Thrashers a 3-0 lead just 25 seconds later. Dustin Kohn gave the puck up deep in the Islanders zone to Maxim Afingenov, who fed the puck in the slot towards a streaking MacArthur. Roloson got his stick on the pass, however, it landed right on MacArthur’s stick, who fired a wrist shot past the Islanders netminder for his first goal as a Thrasher.
That was enough for Islanders Head Coach Scott Gordon, who called a timeout immediately thereafter and replaced Roloson with back-up goaltender Martin Biron.
Afinogenov scored his 20th goal of the season with 5:35 left in the first period to give Atlanta a 4-0 lead. Rich Peverley skated into the Islanders zone, and drew two Islanders over to him. He then sent a centering pass to a streaking Afinogenov, and using Hillen as a screen, fired a shot past Biron to put the Thrashers up by four goals.
Mark Streit cut the Thrashers lead to three goals with 16.1 seconds left in the first period. The Islanders, who didn’t receive a power play at all in their previous game against Chicago, took to the power play with Colby Armstrong in the box for charging.
After receiving a pass from Doug Weight coming from deep in the Thrashers zone, Streit fired a shot from in front of the blue line. However, Streit didn't get enough on the shot, which was just enough to throw Atlanta goaltender Johan Hedberg off, as it sailed past him to put the Islanders on the scoreboard.
Antropov scored his second goal of the game on the power play midway through the second period. After not receiving a power play in the first period, the Thrashers took to the man advantage with Bruno Gervais in the box for tripping. As Bergfors corralled his own rebound, Antropov provided a massive screen in front of Biron, blocking the Islanders netminder's line of sight. And as Bergfors fired a shot, the 6-foot-6 Atlanta center got a piece of it to give the Thrashers a 5-1 lead and his second of the game.
Another new acquisition, Evgeny Artyukhin would add his first as a Thrasher with 4:07 left in the middle period to extend Atlanta's lead to 6-1.
Rob Schremp would cut Atlanta’s lead to four goals midway through the third period with his seventh goal of the season. With Christoph Schubert in the box for holding, Schremp corralled a rebound off a Matt Moulson shot, and got a shot just by the right leg pad of Hedberg to slice Atlanta’s lead to 6-2.
Just 1:10 later, Tim Jackman would score his third goal of the year to bring the Islanders within three. Dustin Kohn sent a pass off of Bryan Little’s skate, which redirected right to Jackman who positioned himself in front of Hedberg. Jackman took the puck, spun quickly and slid a shot through the Atlanta’s netminder’s legs to cut the deficit to 6-3.
Three Stars of the Game: 1. Niclas Bergfors, ATL: Goal, assist, +2 2. Evgeny Artyukhin, ATL: First goal as a Thrasher 3. Clarke MacArthur, ATL: Goal
Slapshots: Islanders outshot Atlanta, 37-22...Mark Streit led all Islanders in ice time with 28:18...Islanders were 2-5 on the power play, while Atlanta was 1-3 with the man advantage...This was the final meeting of the season between the two teams, with the Islanders holding a 3-0 season series advantage in their previous games...Islanders now hold an all-time record of 22-14-4 against the Thrashers.