SUNRISE, Fla. – The Atlanta Thrashers made the most of their shots on goal. The Florida Panthers squandered theirs.
Niclas Bergfors scored the game winner and Fredrik Modin had two goals to lift the Thrashers over the Panthers 4-3 on Wednesday night.
Dustin Byfuglien also scored for the Thrashers and Chris Mason made 52 saves, including 22 in the second period. The 55 shots by Florida tied a franchise record set on Dec. 18, 2005, in a 3-2 win at Washington.
“I knew I was busy, yeah. I had some constant work,” Mason said. “The guys held on and we did a good job in the last five minutes.”
Bryan Allen, Jason Garrison and Steven Reinprecht scored and Tomas Vokoun stopped 19 shots for the Panthers.
“We shouldn’t give up four on 22 shots and we’ve got to score more than three on 55 shots,” Panthers coach Peter DeBoer said. “There’s fault at both ends.”
Allen’s gave Florida a 3-2 lead at 4:31 of the third period. Michael Frolik sent a pass to Allen along the blue line for a shot from the point that got past Mason.
The lead didn’t last long.
The Thrashers tied it at three when Byfuglien took the puck off the faceoff and fired a shot from the right point past Vokoun at 9:59. Atlanta took the lead 71 seconds later when Bergfors’ slapshot from the left faceoff dot beat Vokoun. Bergfors has four goals in four games and a five-game point streak.
“I don’t know what to say about it other than just work hard and do the small details,” Bergfors said. “Usually, you get a little lucky when you do that.”
The Panthers tied it two-all when Reinprecht scored at 17:53 of the second. Bryan McCabe’s shot from the point was blocked by Mason, but Reinprecht grabbed the rebound and shovelled it into the net.
Atlanta had taken a 2-1 lead at 9:51 of the second on Modin’s second goal. His shot was blocked by Vokoun, but when the goalie squeezed his pads together, the puck squirted slowly across the goal-line.
“That’s a lot of shots, and Mason did a terrific job,” Modin said. “Everybody’s aware of the chances they had. But we scored one more goal than they did. It was a good team effort with Mason leading the way. We need to see what we can do differently because we can’t have our goalie face 55 shots every night.”
The Thrashers tied it at one with six seconds left in the first after the Panthers turned over the puck in the neutral zone. Byfuglien gloved the loose puck, brought it forward and passed it from below the right circle to Modin inside the left circle. Modin poked in the puck on Vokoun’s glove side.
“I think I played horrible. I gave up two bad goals,” Vokoun said. “We were a way better team the whole game. This one hurts. A few more saves from me and we would have won the game no problem.”
Florida took a 1-0 lead on Garrison’s goal at 9:38 of the first.
Notes: Atlanta RW Bryan Little missed his second straight game because of a concussion. … Florida C Stephen Weiss returned after missing Saturday’s game at Montreal because of a twisted ankle.