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Thrashers still winless, lose sixth straight
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PHILADELPHIA — Martin Biron’s acrobatic play in the net and a roster suddenly loaded with goal scorers has the Philadelphia Flyers back in a more familiar position in the standings.

First place.

The Atlanta Thrashers, on the other hand, are still stuck at the bottom of the standings, where they have been all season.

Jeff Carter and Sami Kapanen scored 34 seconds apart in the second period, and Biron was sensational again in leading the Flyers past the winless Atlanta Thrashers 4-0 on Tuesday night.

"You don’t play for shutouts, but it’s definitely nice when they come," Biron said.

Biron made 31 saves in his first shutout since the Flyers acquired him from Buffalo in February to solidify the No. 1 goaltender spot. He had his 19th NHL shutout and his first since April 18, 2006, against Carolina.

Mike Richards and Randy Jones also scored for the Flyers, who are alone in first place in the Atlantic Division. The Flyers (4-1) didn’t win their fourth game last season until Nov. 15.

"It’s definitely the way we wanted to start," Biron said. "We have four home games where we really wanted to make a statement."

The Flyers are getting contributions from everyone. Carter and Kapanen both scored for the second straight game. Carter and Danny Briere both have four goals, and eight others have scored — an impressive stat for a team that last season didn’t get much production after the first line.

"It’s always nice when we get production outside the Briere line and we’re starting to get it," coach John Stevens said. "We think our back end can start to contribute offensively and they really have."

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.

One reason is their abysmal play on the power play. Atlanta was 2-for-21 entering the game, and failed to score on five chances against the Flyers.

"I think we’re just beating ourselves up," Thrashers center Bryan Little said. "We’ve got to kind of start the season all over again and just forget about it because if we keep thinking about it, it’s just going to get worse."

Johan Hedberg stopped all 12 shots in the first period and the Flyers seemed to be missing some zip. Those brief spells of lethargic play have gnawed at Stevens all season, but Philadelphia got it over with early.

Richards scored his third goal 1 minute, 21 seconds into the middle 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.

"When we get those chances, we’ve been burying them this year and it’s turning into wins for us," Carter said.

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