Updated: Thrashers score four straight goals to defeat Sharks

San Jose – Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien got the best of a former teammate Saturday.

Ladd’s short-handed goal and Byfuglien’s power-play goal were two of four unanswered goals by the Thrashers in a 4-2 come-from-behind victory over San Jose. The win was the second in two days in which Atlanta overcame a two-goal deficit. The Thrashers beat Anaheim 5-4 in a shootout Friday after falling behind. The Thrashers (3-2) finished a three-game West Coast trip with a 2-1 record.

For Ladd and Byfuglien, their goals came against San Jose goaltender Antti Niemi. The three were teammates last season for Stanley Cup winning Chicago.

After the Thrashers fell behind 2-0 after the first period, Ladd started the comeback with a short-handed goal 1:23 into the period. Alexander Burmistrov was serving an interference penalty – infractions were an issue again for the Thrashers. Bryan Little took the puck on a breakaway and Ladd collected a rebound to beat Niemi for his second goal of the season.

“It’s fun,” Ladd said of scoring against his former teammate. “We had many battles last year in practice. It’s always fun to put one past a guy you used to play with.”

The two had a hand in the game-tying goal. Little took the puck on a backcheck. He sent it to Ladd, who found Anthony Stewart breaking down the right side. A blast beat Niemi for Stewart’s team-leading fourth goal of the season after Friday’s hat trick against Anaheim.

Byfuglien scored the game-winner when he took a cycled puck to the center of the ice and beat Niemi to give the Thrashers a 3-2 lead.

“You can’t ease up,” Byfuglien said. “You just try to pepper as many shots on him as you can. … He’s a pretty quiet guy. He doesn’t say too much. He gave me a little smile out there.”

The Sharks started Niemi in goal even with their other netminder, Antero Niittymaki, owning a 17-0 record against the Thrashers.

Byfuglien’s first goal of the season, with 6:20 remaining, came with San Jose’s Dany Heatley serving an interference penalty.

The Thrashers iced the game when Evander Kane scored his third goal of the season – on a pass from Rich Peverley on a 3-on-1 break – with 4:09 remaining. The goal capped four straight goal run for Atlanta.

Thrashers goaltender Chris Mason stopped 37-of-39 shots in an effort coach Craig Ramsay called “brilliant.”

The Thrashers dug themselves an early 2-0 hole and penalties were the reason. A day after committing eight penalties – six for hooking and tripping – they cost themselves. The math was simple. Three penalties in 1:23 equaled two Sharks goals.

In just over a minute, Freddy Meyer was called for holding, Peverley for tripping and Johnny Oduya for hooking. Heatley scored on the 5-on-3, knocking in a rebound from the crease that beat Mason at the 15:20 mark of the first. Just 21 seconds later Ryan Clowe tipped a Torry Mitchell wrister past Mason on a 4-on-4 situation. San Jose’s Devin Setoguchi was called for diving on Peverley’s tripping penalty negated the advantage.

“This team here is a pretty resilient group,” Mason said. “We are getting there. The thing is, we can get better but you can’t teach that never-quite attitude.”

The Thrashers have shown an ability to come back early in the season. They allowed the first goal to Washington in the season opener and came back to win. The next night they fell behind by four goals to Tampa only to cut the lead to one before losing by two on an empty netter. Following a loss to Los Angeles to start the road trip, the Thrashers have now won twice after falling behind by two goals.

“We are thrilled with the way the team is playing, with the way they’ve responded,” Ramsay said. “There is commitment from the bench. It’s fun to be on that bench. They are excited. You can see it. They are talking. They are starting to pick up on the little details that make for a good hockey team. To come out here, under these conditions, and do as well as we have we are very excited. We would certainly like to actually get a lead, and keep a lead, instead of fighting back all the time. Again, some of those growth things that you go through are showing up where we fall behind but we don’t quit.”

It was the home opener for the Sharks, who celebrated the start of the franchise’s 20th season in front of a sellout crowd of 17,562 at HP Pavilion.

38 comments Add your comment

Barry

October 17th, 2010
1:14 am

Thrashers still had too many penalties and at times were oppressed by Sharks forecheck but again they found a way to win. This team is shaping up to be a very special team this year and could probably surprise alot of people.

Russian

October 17th, 2010
1:16 am

Great Game. Mason is number ONE. Buff scored first goal. Everything worked perfectly.

Rick

October 17th, 2010
1:20 am

Huge comeback win! And against a powerhouse like SJ to boot!

It’s amazing what a little confidence has done for Anthony Stewart, he’s starting to look like his bro. Burmy looks incredible too, him and Kane look they’re going to be stars players in the next couple of years.

Chris – Do you happen to have any idea if Antropov’s hip is still hurting? I noticed last night and tonight that he didn’t play the back half of the third (and OT last night) and his icetime is way down. If not, I’m guessing he’s in the doghouse with Bergfors?

Thrashers27

October 17th, 2010
1:21 am

Yeah, too many penalties, but I’m actually proud of our boys after that game.

Thrashers27

October 17th, 2010
1:26 am

Not impressed with Meyer at this point.

Dwayne

October 17th, 2010
1:41 am

Thrashers win, that is all that matters. No way all players on team are going to have good games every game. Hopefully, the players that have great or good games over come the players that have bad games. It’s pretty simple aint it? The good teams, or playoff teams, do this on a consistant basis. Lets take mighty Pittsburgh, yuck, crosby and malkin, are they really that much better than,say, Kane and Thorborn…sh!t…never mind that comparison. We got 6 points now, that is a fact and the Thrashers are still learning a new system with new teammates.

Telfo

October 17th, 2010
1:46 am

dominant third period. that is what this “system” is supposed to look like.

TheAntiMe

October 17th, 2010
5:07 am

Way to take care of business on the road, Ice Birds, again!

Spud Webb

October 17th, 2010
7:25 am

Quote of the year to me….“This team here is a pretty resilient group,” Mason said. “We are getting there. The thing is, we can get better but you can’t teach that never-quite attitude.”

Now that is what I’m talking about!

Kaiser Souze

October 17th, 2010
8:10 am

Very cool to go on the road and post a 2-1 record to start the season. See everyone at Philips this week against Buffalo. Let’s make sure more Thrasher jerseys than that Sabers crap. Selah!

lordstan57

October 17th, 2010
8:23 am

GREAT road trip!!! Mighty proud of this team this Morn.
You want respect???? THIS IS HOW IT’S DONE!
EARNED!!!
Maintain boys, maintain!

See you Wed.

“Live Hockey, Love Thrashers!”.

thebighairybeast

October 17th, 2010
8:57 am

not a bad opening season road trip. Ill take 4 of six points!

BigMomma

October 17th, 2010
9:04 am

What a game! Mason stole this game for us and the team fought hard to come back and win it. This is a team to get excited about!

alex

October 17th, 2010
9:12 am

despite very resilient owners this team is special because work of real gm and real coaches .can you imagine where thrashers would end if owners let spend 7 mil more. yes on date with lord stanly.

Flames

October 17th, 2010
10:07 am

This team is a very exciting team to watch. You can see that they like each other. They are beginning to come together. The good thing is it seems that we have some depth on this team. There isn’t just one superstar. Who would have thought that New Jersey would only have one win at this time.

Gwinnett Fred

October 17th, 2010
10:09 am

beast – actually 4 of 8 points, but considering the opponents, still quite a successful trip.

It’s early, but this gang is showing the same “so star but a different guy stepping up every game” as the Braves did this past season. Can only hope it continues cause that’s the same type play that got Philly & Montreal to the East Finals last year.

Oh yea, whoever you are that’s coaching the Sharks – thanks for not playing Niitimaki!!!!!

KICKSAVE

October 17th, 2010
10:36 am

IT IS A MUST THAT WE WORK ON THE PENALTY SITUATION!!! However,darn good road trip with so many new faces i could NOT agree more with mason’s quote!! Wednesday can’t get here fast enough,see you at “THE NEST”!!!

radarwatcherr

October 17th, 2010
11:19 am

Agreed, come on out Atlanta, it’s embarrassing to have as many BUF fans as ATL in your home arena…

rob

October 17th, 2010
11:42 am

While I didn’t get to see the game, I have watched a few others on Center Ice and if anyone else has watched a few, I ask…..has the officiating sucked or what? It has been horribly skewed in every game I have watched and it doesn’t bode well that the NHL refs are becoming more and more blatantly biased IMO. It has always been a problem but really, pathetic from what I have seen. What they call on one team the very same thing they allow on the other, and it is pathetic. OK done venting…thanks.

Todd McLellan

October 17th, 2010
12:00 pm

WHAT!! Niittymaki is 17-0 against the Thrashers! Now you tell me!

Brendan

October 17th, 2010
12:08 pm

I forgot that Nittymaki was in SJ! Dodged a bullet, there!!

Hockey Steve

October 17th, 2010
12:13 pm

Great win!! I would’ve been happy with 3 points out west. This team is only gonna get better!

Curly

October 17th, 2010
12:30 pm

Chris: I think Andrew Ladd has had a very positive influence on the play of Brian Little. What do you think?

Hockey Biltong

October 17th, 2010
12:36 pm

Kamal was aghast at the refereeing..It just should not be this poor…

liquid fart

October 17th, 2010
12:40 pm

I wish Eager would have landed that first haymaker he threw at Frazer Mclaren’s head. Good to see Eager dropping the gloves when we were down 2-0 to try and spark us even though the fight was more of a dust up than an actual Boulton nuclear bomb fest..the message was recieved however, good job boys, never say die, sweep the leg! I wanna see Big Buf get into one soon.

Jameson

October 17th, 2010
2:00 pm

Curly- I just wish Little could get some love from the hockey gods. He’s playing too well to not be scoring, and I don’t want to see him gripping his stick so tight like last year.

Martin

October 17th, 2010
4:20 pm

Enter your comments here

JLH

October 17th, 2010
6:18 pm

Great to have you on the road with the boys this season Chris …. It really makes a difference in the reporting…. hope it doesn’t create too much friction on the home front ;)

BLUELAND

October 17th, 2010
8:45 pm

Shine that CUP up. It will be in the building soon.

Brendan

October 17th, 2010
11:21 pm

The Canucks are leading the Hurricanes, 5-1, with 2:00 left in regulation time.

GaVaHokie

October 18th, 2010
8:37 am

If the team can find a way to go 3-2 in every 5 game stretch, they’ll be comfortably in the playoffs with 98 pts.

Delusional Thrasher

October 18th, 2010
9:00 am

If the season ended today, the Thrashers are in the playoffs!!!

I’m just sayin

Zombie Steve

October 18th, 2010
9:12 am

The Buffaslugs are going down.

chum bucket douche

October 18th, 2010
10:51 am

How is the Stewart decision looking now?

GaVaHokie

October 18th, 2010
11:10 am

How is the Stewart decision looking now?

You’re right… I had him on my personal waivers last week in order to activate Jim Slater. We’d be out 4 goals and be down in the basement with NJ.

Let’s hope he can keep it up.

GaVaHokie

October 18th, 2010
11:11 am

… of course, my transactions inlcuded moving Buff back to RW, but that’s neither here nor there. ;)

Stat Man

October 18th, 2010
12:56 pm

Just got my tickets for Wednesday. Hope we have a better crowd than the normal Wednesday nighter – these guys have earned a good loud “homecoming” crowd.

[...] The Thrashers have to be happy with the last 40 minutes of their game against San Jose — they scored four unanswered after going down 2-0 in the first. Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien, both castoff Blackhawks, put a puck past Antti Niemi and were [...]