PHILADELPHIA – Simon Gagne had his second career hat trick and Peter Forsberg added a goal and two assists to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers.

Gagne leads the NHL with 15 goals, and has scored five goals in his last three games. Forsberg leads the league with 21 assists.

Robert Esche made 28 saves and won his fourth straight game for the Flyers.

Marian Hossa, Peter Bondra and Serge Aubin scored for Atlanta, and Mike Dunham recorded 14 saves, falling to 2-7-1 overall against the Flyers. Atlanta outshot Philadelphia 26-11 in the last two periods, including 13-3 in the third period.

Philadelphia had a two-man advantage when Gagne opened the scoring 3:46 in, redirecting Forsberg’s pass and beating Dunham to the stick side.

Forsberg added to the lead with less than two minutes remaining in the period, scoring his fourth goal on his own rebound after a pass from Gagne.

Hossa scored Atlanta’s first goal 8 minutes into the second on a power play, beating Esche to the stick side. Hossa, who has six man-advantage goals this season, has recorded a point in 10 of 14 games.

Esche stopped Marc Savard on a breakaway seconds later, preserving Philadelphia’s lead.

Gagne scored his second goal less than 2 minutes into the third period with Philadelphia on another two-man advantage. He beat Dunham with a shot from the slot.

After Peter Bondra cut the lead to 3-2, Gagne scored his third goal with less than 5 minutes left, beating Dunham while laying on the ice. Serge Aubin made it a 4-3 game 52 seconds later, beating Esche on the short side.

Notes: Philadelphia has won three straight and four of its last five, and improves to 6-1 at home on the season. … Peter Forsberg has four goals and eight assists in his last four games.

AP-ES-11-05-05 2146EST

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