The Thrashers nearly cornered the market on the NHL’s stars of the week.
Goaltender Ondrej Pavelec was named the league’s first star for the week ending Sunday. Defenseman Dustin Byfuglien was named the second star.
“They certainly earned it,” Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said. “I think they’ve both been brilliant. Our team has played well. Even through that when the team plays well, someone needs to step up and be a special player and they’ve both done it throughout this homestand.”
The Thrashers have won five straight, including wins this week over Detroit, Montreal and Boston. He’s stopped 97 of 99 shots in those three wins. Pavelec lowered his season goals-against average to 1.62 and improved his save percentage to .949, both third in the NHL.
“More important is winning the games,” Pavelec said. “It’s nice but it’s a team sport and you can do that without your teammates.”
Byfuglien had six points (two goals, four assists), including his league-leading fifth game-winning goal of the season. He leads all defensemen in goals (9) and points (25).
In other news:
* Rookie forward Alexander Burmistrov did not practice with the team Monday prior to leaving for Denver for Tuesday’s game against the Avalanche. He will make the trip and Ramsay said there is a good chance Burmistrov will play.
Burmistrov missed most of the third period of Sunday’s win over Boston after taking a boarding call.
“He will travel,” Ramsay said. “There is a real good chance that he’ll be able to play. Certainly they want to take care and give him rest. We’ve played a lot of hockey and it’s been very intense hockey. It certainly doesn’t hurt a guy like Burmy to take a day off.”
* Ramsay said the Thrashers will call up a player as a precaution to meet the team in Denver.
If Burmistrov is unable to play, and the Thrashers call up a winger, Nik Antropov would move back to center.
* Although not close to playing with a rib injury, Fredrik Modin will make the road trip with them team. He has missed the past six games but has begun practicing. He was on the ice the entire practice Monday.
“It’s not like he’s ready to play but he’s moving forward,” Ramsay said. “We can get him some ice time on day-of-game skates and have him as part of the team. We want him around.”
* The Thrashers line combinations remained the same Monday with defenseman Freddy Meyer taking Burmistrov’s spot as a forward.