Bruins Ice Thrashers


Byron Dafoe picked up right where he left off.

Dafoe made 21 saves in his season debut, and Dave Andreychuk scored twice to lead the Boston Bruins to their sixth consecutive victory, a 4-2 win over the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday.

"He (Dafoe) brings something extra special that the team senses in the locker room," Andreychuk said. "It seems to inspire extra confidence in everyone."

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  • Dafoe, who signed a three-year contract last week after missing the first 12 games due to a contract dispute, received a standing ovation just prior to the game.

    "This is the first time I've had a louder applause than Ray Bourque," Dafoe said. "Boston fans are very knowledgeable and it was very special to me to get a reaction like that."

    Darren Van Impe broke a 1-1 tie when he rebounded a Steve Heinze shot on a power play and beat Atlanta goaltender Damian Rhodes at 18:13 of the second period.

    Andreychuk got his first goal of the game just 1:11 later when he slipped a shot through Rhodes' pads to put the Bruins ahead 3-1.

    "Andreychuk looks like he is 25 again," said Atlanta coach Curt Fraser. "He really hurt us out there tonight."

    Andrew Brunette scored his team-leading eighth goal of the season with 1:18 remaining to make it 3-2, but Andreychuk scored his 11th goal of the season just 13 seconds later to put the game away.

    Andeychuk scored just 28 goals in the last two seasons in which he was hampered with multiple injuries, including breaking his foot on two separate occasions.

    "I wanted to get back to where I was before suffering all those injuries while I was with the Devils," Andreychuk said. "It helped that I knew the system coming to Boston and Bruins coach Pat Burns was a big part of the reason I came here."

    Rhodes (3-5-2) stopped 27 shots for Atlanta.

    The Bruins took an early lead from an unlikely source, when Ken Belanger scored only his sixth career NHL goal. Belanger is in his fifth year and has never scored more than three goals in a season.

    Belanger stole the puck from Atlanta forward Mike Stapleton behind the Thrasher net and tucked a shot inside the left post at 4:24 of the first period.

    Per Svartvadet tied the game for the Thrashers at 1:20 of the second period on a one-timer past Dafoe.

    Svartvadet, a rookie and former star for the Swedish Elite League, has scored in three straight games.

    The Bruins now have a seven-game unbeaten streak and won all four games on their homestand that saw them outscore their opponents 17-6.

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