Pavelec gets shootout win for Thrashers

Here is my game story, with quotes, from Thursday’s 3-2 shootout win over the Bruins for those who would like to comment.

Tim Stapleton ignored Anthony Stewart’s shootout advice.

Bryan Little did not.

They both scored to give the Thrashers a 3-2 victory over Boston on Thursday night, snapping a four-game losing streak. Ondrej Pavelec stopped both Bruins shots for his first career shootout win, breaking an 0-for-7 slump which included three losses this season.

Tobias Enstrom scored two power-play goals for the Thrashers in front of a season-high Philips Arena crowd of 17,624. The Thrashers improved to 20-14-6, 46 points. They have 17 points in the month of December, matching November’s total.

Stapleton, recalled from AHL Chicago earlier in the day, shot first and beat Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas.

“I don’t know if you’ve ever seen [Stewart] stick handle,” Stapleton said. “He had a bunch of moves for me and I didn’t listen. I had my move planned. You are better off just shooting. I try to go low glove a lot. Last night when I was down in Chicago in the shootout I went high glove and shot it in Section 300.”

After Pavelec stopped Bruins rookie Tyler Seguin, Little heeded Stewart’s words.

“I didn’t know what I was going to do and I heard Stewy yell to shoot five-hole,” Little said. “I went down the bench and asked him ‘What did you say?’ He said ‘Fake the shot, move to the side and shoot five-hole.’ That’s exactly what I did and it worked.”

Stewart said he noticed Thomas was vulnerable between his legs.

“I said forehand, backhand, triple deke and five-hole,” Stewart said of his advice to both shooters. “He’s given it up all night. Good advice, I guess. I told Stapes to do it and we had a debate on the bench and he said ‘No, I’m going to go low glove.’ Oh well.”

Pavelec stopped Blake Wheeler’s attempt to give the Thrashers a 2-0 win in the shootout. Pavelec, who finished with 42 saves, admitted his woeful shootout record bothered him.

“I just said ‘Now or never. Now is the time. Now I have to do it,’” Pavelec said. “All the time you want to help your team get two points. We could be out of the playoffs because we lost in the shootout and I didn’t help the team in the shootout. Of course it bothered me. I’ve been working on it. I tried not to think about it.”

The Thrashers moved ahead of Boston’s point total (20-11-5, 45 points) in the Eastern Conference, snapping the Bruin’s three-game win streak that began last week against the Thrashers. The Thrashers also remained in seventh spot, tied for the fifth highest point total in the conference, and remain three points behind Tampa Bay and Washington in the Southeast Division.

The teams entered extra time tied after trading goals in each of the first two periods before a scoreless third and overtime.

Enstrom got the Thrashers started with a power-play goal early in the first period, the first of two on the night. His point shot, with Marc Savard serving a slashing penalty, narrowly missed two Bruins defenders before it got past Thomas. The goal, at the 3:23 mark, marked the 20th time in the past 27 games the Thrashers have scored first. It also was the Thrashers’ fourth power-play goal in 38 chances over the past 12 games.

Patrice Bergeron cashed in on a Thrashers neutral-zone turnover to tie the game. The forward intercepted Enstrom’s pass and broke in on Pavelec. His shot trickled through Pavelec’s legs at the 14:09 mark. Bergeron scored a short-handed goal on a breakaway in last week’s win over the Thrashers in Boston.

The Bruins jumped to a lead 55 seconds into the second period. Blake Wheeler got behind the Thrashers’ defense, streaked in on Pavelec and wristed a shot high over his right shoulder.

Enstrom scored his second power-play goal of the game with 17 seconds left on a tripping penalty on Nathan Horton. His penalty nullified a questionable goaltender-interference call on Stapleton. His point shot beat Thomas, with Andrew Ladd screening the goaltender.

“It feels good,” Enstrom said of his two goals. “In the end it’s all about winning. I love when the team wins and hate when we lose. Tonight is a good night for us.”

52 comments Add your comment


December 30th, 2010
11:20 pm

The crowd tonight was sizzling … they came wanting a good game, and they got it.


December 30th, 2010
11:21 pm

Oh, and … because it’s tradition … FIRST

cousin Eddie

December 30th, 2010
11:38 pm

Fool’s Gold!

cousin Eddie

December 30th, 2010
11:43 pm

Im out of town for three days and come back and find I have 3 hours worth of reading to do. Sheeeesh! Great game tonight and nice to see the fans come out and support the boys in blue. The more I watc Oduya, the more I’m intrigued by his play. He is reminiscant of Enstrom in almost every facet of his game. NHL on the Fly giving the our defense much appreciated love.


December 30th, 2010
11:46 pm

Absolutely thrilled for Pavs!!!!!
He stone-walled em in the 3rd!

Boston is Damn good!!! their forecheck was MONSTER! good sticks, passing… they’re just an excellent team.
Who taught them all that???

Methinks they’re about 2-3? years ahead of where we want to be.


Marcus Valdes

December 30th, 2010
11:49 pm

Great game. Great crowd. Glad we won for the couple that got married during the first intermission!


December 31st, 2010
12:05 am

Great game. Great energy from everybody. Pavs was back to his old self. (Darien needs to stop using “unconcious”) PC is going to be a star. Fast forward to March, the line of Cormier-Burmy-Kane will be something to see.
Bring on Kovalsuck.


December 31st, 2010
12:05 am

Careful, litz. Or you’ll wind up doing all kinds of “monkey see, monkey do” sorts of things, in the name of ‘tradition.’ Like? Like yelling “Knights!” during the anthem.

Anyone who is 13 years old or younger, by definition, CANNOT be observing a first-hand tradition of something that occured at the Omni, during IHL games. They weren’t even born yet. And chances are, if the fan is 17 years old, he or she still didn’t even yell “Knights!” during the anthem, at 4 years old. But yet, there’s no end in sight, much like Waddell’s tenure with the team.

Just because something’s a tradition … doesn’t mean it’s right. But if I had to predict something, it would be the “First or Gold” type comments will continue to appear on these blogs. And so will yelling during the anthem, in spite of the Thrashers organization asking all fans to stop doing that.

Way to get the win tonight, Thrashers! That was, maybe, the most exciting overtime of the season. Maybe. Definitely one of the more memorable shootouts. Great for Pavelec to get the monkey off his back.

Mike W

December 31st, 2010
12:10 am

Why do people have to bring the KNIGHTS thing up all the time? GET OVER IT, ITS NOT GOING TO CHANGE. If you want it to change so bad, take Waddell’s place.

I liked that “BOSTON SUCKS” chant we had going in OT though :p


December 31st, 2010
12:41 am

Pavs was sharp in the third. The Thrashers didn’t win a lot of face offs and the puck was in their end way too much.
But I can’t complain too much. They got the two points.
Go Blue!


cousin Eddie

December 31st, 2010
12:52 am
Sopel with some love for Thrasher fans!

cousin Eddie

December 31st, 2010
12:53 am


December 31st, 2010
12:57 am

Brendan you’re right on. The “Knights!” thing during the anthem is awful and needs to stop, I’ve always hated it and it pisses me off every time i’m at the game, such as tonight.
Here’s my $.02 on tonights game:
Crowd was excellent, damn near full house and into the game at the big moments, great hockey crowd. One dollar hot dogs = awesome. Pavelec = awesomer.
My 3 stars: 3-Pavelec (several outstanding saves, first shootout W, good work). 2-Toby (nice rebound game after spending half the penguins game in the box, both kind of soft/weak goals but hey they went in the net). 1- Stapleton (sweet goal in SO).
The brutally bad gift exchange is excellent, 2 free tickets to a january home game, so i’m coming back to see either the Flyers or Rangers.
Only thing I was suprised about was the lack of bloodshed. I thought they were going to drop gloves a the first drop but the game didn’t call for it, but it was very testy out there at times like Buff getting into it. Thought for sure we would drop gloves to avenge the cheap shot on Freddy Modin. I’m sure they won’t forget… Peace out


December 31st, 2010
1:01 am

Thrashers deserve congratulations for two points at Philips Arena. Got that losing streak monkey off their backs. Both goals Pavs let in were painful ones. Young netminder more than made up for both of them! Hated that Bruins got a point but what the Hell. Crowd was rocking and rolling. Loved Pavs emotion after his first ever shootout triumph. Good stuff. Thrasher power play got back on track. Good thing to see after such an unsuccessful wretched stretch. Two shootout goals. Shootout stops! No fisticuff fireworks but that is okay too. Got jittery when visitors took lead. Real jittery! No more extended losing streaks. Cannot afford my meds due to ObamaUnCare! :( STENDEK


December 31st, 2010
1:11 am

Couple other comments. We did this shorthanded, Antropov and Kane down. What’s the latest on Kane? Saw him go out at the end of tuesday’s game in pitt. Bergfors was out there for the first time in a while, no doubt a showcase to trade him, but i’m not sure we should, I still think that guy can help us, he was good last year, what is the deal with him and Ramsey because we could definitely use him for the rest of the year. Last thing is Thorburn had a great shot block late in the 3rd, totally stopped a blast after a prolonged period of pressure by Boston. Excellent.

I’m pumped for this team. Let’s take care of Jersey tomorrow, they’re awful and we need to take 2 points. We embarrased them last time we played theim (7-2 I think), Boulton’s hat trick game. They’r terrible and we need to beat them and get out of there.

Alan R.

December 31st, 2010
2:08 am

We embarrased them last time we played theim (7-2 I think),

Don’t give them too much credit. They only scored once. ;)

Still, with the return of Lemaire behind the NJD bench, this team should not take them lightly. They already look worlds better than they were, despite the continued losses. Let’s not be the team to allow them to get that monkey off their backs tomorrow.


December 31st, 2010
5:55 am

Loved how Enstrom thanked the fans during post game interview. Game gave me a heart attack!

East Point Bob

December 31st, 2010
8:36 am

Brenden, I remember October 1972, Atlanta 1 Buffalo 1, Flames first home game. Remember Bouchard blanked Boston 9-0 one night stopping Espo on a breakaway in the closing seconds…
Last night was sweet, but we were outplayed for the most part. Need to keep up the pressure on this
what to this point, has been a terrible NJ team, but remember they still have the firepower to win.
Let’s hope not tonight.


December 31st, 2010
8:42 am

I was at the game and there wasn’t much flow. Bruins playing that annoying trap all night. With such a large crowd I would have liked to have seen some more up and down action.

Good win though…felt like we stole this one.


December 31st, 2010
8:46 am

Really satisfying win. Hope we dont let our gaurd down for the devilchuks. They are bad and we need a good 6-1 win with a Thrasher
getting a hat trick tonite.

Way to go Toby! Good game man!

steve brown

December 31st, 2010
9:26 am

stendek needs medical attention quickly before he hurts himself with all his flip flopping. Or maybe he just needs meds!


December 31st, 2010
9:32 am

Oh crap—STENDEK is off his meds—glad we won last night or he would blow a gasket today :) (worse than normal)

GREAT WIN last night.


December 31st, 2010
9:42 am

The Ole-Ole-Ole-Ole music is by far more irritating than the Knights chant. May I find out who is the genius behind this idea? Just curious. Do you people seriously want to associate a badass hockey attitude with this kind of music?


December 31st, 2010
9:46 am

STENDEC off meds may be our lucky charm. Say clean buddy and we win. Watched Bergfors last night. He hustles, hits every now and then. I don’t see what Rammer doesn’t like about him. Great crowd- rowdy and noisy. Way to go guys.

Jeff Odgers

December 31st, 2010
10:33 am

Great hard fought win, Pavs battles, I can’t believe people on the offical site wanted Lehtemen over him. Of course they thoguht Patty Stefan was great also. This might not be our year to go far in the playoffs, but we have some serious pieces in place to contend sooner rather than later. Bogosian nees to get it together, I’m impressed with Cormier, this kid is a gamer.


December 31st, 2010
10:33 am

By the way, A Happier New Year, everybody!

Puck Like A Porn Star

December 31st, 2010
10:39 am

The only thing better than this awesome win: absolutely destroying Kovaljoke on NYE!!



December 31st, 2010
10:43 am

East Point Bob – I don’t think the Flames beat the Bruins 9-0 in 1972 (too lazy to search internet), but I do remember them losing 3-1 a couple days after Christmas in ‘72. That was VAThasher’s introduction to NHL hockey that began my life-long “love affair” with the game.


December 31st, 2010
10:50 am

Happy New Year, Midfield. And to all the posters and lurkers!

Is today’s game at 5PM?

I think Pavelec stole that game for us, last night. Joe Friday may be on to something. I sure wouldn’t mind a 1st round playoff series win!!

East Point Bob, those are great memories of the Flames. Even though I didn’t live in Atlanta at the time, I liked the Atlanta Flames and saw them play in other venues. I like Randy Manery, Eric Vail, Curt Bennett, Dan Bouchard, Tom Lysiak, Tim Ecclestone, and Bill Clement. And, of course, Boom-Boom Geoffrion, behind the bench.

Re: The Devils. Now, while they’re weak and thin on defense, is the time to bank points. Once the Devils get some of their pieces back, and get healthy, they’ll climb out of the cellar of the league. But there’s no excuse for not beating them, now. So what if Kovy scores a goal. That’ll be all they get. Kovy’s PPG, and maybe a tally from Zajac. And we’ll win, 5-2. Hopefully. I want Bryan Little to notch a hat trick.

I hope Kane and Antropov are making a good recovery.

Will we be starting Chris Mason in this one???

kaiser souze

December 31st, 2010
10:52 am

The crowd was excellent, electric and hungry for a win, hot dogs, $3.00 beers, cinnamon almonds and dip n dots. I like the Ole, Ole Ole. Take down the Devils for 2 pts. going into 2011. Happy New Year to all and a safe and fun one too. Selah!

Joe Friday

December 31st, 2010
11:15 am

“I think Pavelec stole that game for us, last night. Joe Friday may be on to something. I sure wouldn’t mind a 1st round playoff series win!!”

If Pavs can steal a couple games, we can win a round, he won’t have to steal 4. We have a club that is built for tight playoff games. We have some big game players, Buf and Ladd can both win you games, Enstrom is becoming a much more well rounded player and gaining confidence playing with Buf. Sopes is a great shut down guy in a playoff game, he was clutch last year in many key situations for the Hawks and ate a lot of key minutes. Cormier is going to round into a good player, keep an eye on that kid, he’s going to be solid for us by year end. Pevs has a knack for coming up big at the right time. I am telling you, this club is built for a tight playoff series and could be a suprise in the East this year.


December 31st, 2010
11:16 am

If Brendan (or was it Redlight?) were to change a couple of words in the “1st Hat trick” contest,…so that it was a player picked by us bloggers,…we could have that contest back in play.

Oye-vie,…I believe I had Bergfors in that contest. Wouldn’t it be sweet though if, after all that time in the pressbox, he were the next Thrasher to get the hat tribute.

I gotta agree with Brendan though that the Devils D is significantly better than it was a week or so ago. I don’t expect a lot of scoring tonight. On the other hand,…aren’t the starting goalies Moose and Mason?

Happy new year to all.



December 31st, 2010
11:22 am

Brendan – I agree with you about “Knights”. I’ve read others say that doing so is one of the reasons that Atlanta isn’t taken seriously as a hockey town by fans of other teams.

Gwinnett Fred

December 31st, 2010
11:22 am


– Yelling “Knights” is just, in a word, disrespectful.
– Being thrilled to be “first” is just, in a word, retarded.

I think I’ll start a NEW tradition. Every game I go to (about a dozen a year), I’ll take note of somebody that yells “Knights” and follow them home and drop a deuce on their driveway. Hey, it’s in the name of TRADITION, so it must be OK – right?

Back to the ice – GREAT GAME, GREAT EFFORT & GREAT CROWD. However, it becomes pretty meaningless if they drop today’s game against the worst team in the league, away game or not. And yes, it’s a 5pm start!

[...] only fitting that the game came down to a shootout. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has the story on how Pavelec, who made 42 saves through overtime and two more in the shootout, overcame a surprisi… to beat Thomas (30 saves total) and the Bruins, and provides us with highlights of the [...]


December 31st, 2010
11:55 am

going to be very difficult game with NJ to win. they are rested and ready with new coach with 0-3 record for first win for him and to avenge embarrassment 7:1 in Phillips. we are tied. what time arriving in NJ 3, 4 at night everybody guess. definitely heavy legs. so win going to be heroic, important get at least 50% from 3 games away to stay in playoff position.


December 31st, 2010
12:10 pm

Stewart said he noticed Thomas was vulnerable between his legs.

Yeah, well, aren’t we all?


December 31st, 2010
12:31 pm

Funny stuff Chris, thanks for sharing. As if anyone would listen to Stewart on advice on how to score…develop some hands son! ;-)

Hopefully we can ring in the New Year with a win on the road and gather some momentum for January after a rough December. But regardless, it looks like it’s gonna be a winning month, barely, even if we lose to the lowly Devils. We’re 7 – 5 – 3 going in for 17 out of 30 points. Last year we were winless in the last 7 games of the year and the first 2 of 2010. So let’s get points 47 & 48 and sitting right where we need to be at the half-pole (48 x 2 = 96 pts / playoffs!).

Happy New Year Thrashers fans!!


December 31st, 2010
12:53 pm

You’re right “OLE, OLE” is annoying and belongs in soccer. However, they can play it all night long as pucks continue to find their way into the net.


December 31st, 2010
12:54 pm

Excellent team effort. Pavs did not quit and neither did the team.
The Knights thing during the anthem should have stopped years ago.
What about the level of the music during stoppage of play at the Bulb? When play stops you can’t talk about the game because you can’t hear what the person next to you is saying because the music is way too loud.

End the year by beating the Devilchuks.


December 31st, 2010
1:37 pm

whats wrong with ole ole? I think its a great way to get the crowd chanting something not to mention a pretty fun song. Anyway things I liked most about last night was a couple hits by bergie and cormier on chara that i saw. bergfors was getting in deep and getting pucks and cormier wasnt afraid to squash anyone.

Gwinnett Fred

December 31st, 2010
1:47 pm

@east point bob

The Flames were 0-5-0 against the Bruins in the 72-73 season.
Amazingly went 3-1-0 against them in the 73-74 season, but no shutouts.
Back to 0-4-1 in 74-75 (guess they wanted revenge)

The game you are referring to was a 9-0 win on on 3-9-76 at the Omni.


December 31st, 2010
2:04 pm

If ours were the only fans shouting out during the National Anthem, criticism of Thrasher fans might be justified but consider-
Exhibit A: Baltimore Oriole baseball fans yelling “O” (in the home of the Star Spangled Banner, no less)
Exhibit B: “O” migrating down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway to the Capitals (to be joined by “RED”
Exhibit C: If I’m not mistaken, Detroit fans also shout “RED”
Exhibit D: Dallas fans with “STAR”
Exhibit E: Generic and unintelligible noise from Blackhawks fans during the entire last third of the anthem.
Disrespectful, yes. Unique to Atlanta, no and seen in some fully credentialed hockey towns. This is just the sportsfan’s version of peeing on the tree to mark their turf: This is OUR house.
If it is to stop it should stop everywhere. Input from the players themselves would be helpful.


December 31st, 2010
2:56 pm

Yelling “Knights” during the National Anthem is bush league (as well as being disrespectful) and is one reason why some consider Atlanta not to be a hockey market.

Also “ole-ole” is probably the worst goal song to play if the ASG is trying to market the team as “A Brutally Good time”. Both yelling “Knights” and playing a European soccer song is a slap in the face to the players and hard core American hockey fans. (In my opinion).

Happy New Year to all!


December 31st, 2010
2:58 pm

P.S… Breaking News Alert……. Our team is now named the “THRASHERS” not the Knights.

Clowns Wasting Energy on Knights

December 31st, 2010
3:53 pm

You jack wagons need to get a life on this “knights” thing. Yelling knights has been sighted as the reason the franchise is jinxed and the reason Atlanta is not taken seriously as a hockey town. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Wake up and let it go – if people want to yell knights – let them do it. If that is all you have to talk about, you do not belong on this blog or in the stands. FOCUS on the team and the players, not trivial garbage. Grow up and shut up. GREAT JOB by the fans and players vs. the B’s.

Alan R.

December 31st, 2010
8:08 pm

Hurr, durr. Seriously, I tried to warn people that Lemaire has changed the Devils. As a matter of fact, it’s right there near the top of this page.

Post after post of whining and complaining, you’d think someone let the Lightning coach Boucher start posting here.


December 31st, 2010
8:20 pm

IK was very classy with his reaction to his goal. Not much celebration. I will always remember him saying he loved his Thrasher team mates. Happy New Year Moose. As much I hate to surrender the points to NJ, I am happy for Moose. The Thrashers looked beat. The same with Ramsays post game last night. He said he was very tired with the condensed schedule and all of the work the Thrashers have been put in the last few months. Hats off to all of you. And, Happy New Year Blueland!!!!

Alan R.

December 31st, 2010
8:28 pm

Why so serious, Stendek?

It’s a loss. Get over it. Am I disappointed? Yes. Am I losing my mind because a team that has been run down by a stressful stretch of games just lost to the Devils? A Devils team that is more rested than the Thrashers? Certainly not.

We’re still on pace to make the playoffs. Give it a rest. I swear, I’m not the only one who gets so tired of coming to Viv’s blog and seeing eight or nine posts saying the same crazy stuff over and over again after a bad game.


December 31st, 2010
9:48 pm

Obviously, Jacques Lemaire is a very fine and very accomplished Head Coach in the National Hockey League. Anyone who doesn’t know that has been living in a cave for a prolonged period. If anyone can lead the Devils out of the basement and into respectability, it’s Jacques Lemaire.

But, I have to say … I’m very disappointed that the result of this game was a 4-pt swing to the 30th-place team in the league. Yeah, yeah. “Back-to-Back.” “Sprint-like schedule.” Antropov’s out, Kane’s not 100-percent, neither is Bogosian, etc. When can’t we cite excuses???? Excuses grow on trees. They’re everywhere.

I hardly think the wheels have come off, and that the Thrashers are about to embark on a 2nd half that puts them in the lottery draft. That’d be non-sense talk. But we’re 1-4-1 in the last six, I think. And had Pavelec not “stolen” Bruins game, we’d be 0-4-2 right now, for the past six games. I think we should start to be honest about that. Our team works … when there’s a “balancing act.” By that, I mean, when our depth players are producing. When the blueline scores, and the 3rd and 4th lines contribute, we tend to win. That full breadth of contribution has been lacking in the past few games. It can come back. And it will. It will. But, that needs to happen sooner than later. Montreal is next, I believe. You’ll recall that the Habs were Conference Finalists last year. Let’s see how we measure up to them, now that the 2nd half of the season is upon us. From here on out … the playoff teams separate themselves from the rest of the herd. If you look at the records of teams from January 1st to mid-April, the teams with the better records tend to carry that success into the playoffs. Of course, there are umpteen exceptions. So damn fool will now post those exceptions. And to that fool I’d remind … that exceptions PROVE THE RULE. I can recall years with very good teams, that were decimated by injuries, that finished with close to the best 2nd half record, but didn’t qualify for the playoffs. It happens. (Heck, the 2006 Thrashers might even resemble that remark.) Sometimes, you get your players back too late to salvage the season. This year, that team very well may be the Devils, re: Zach Parise and others.

The point is … the way that this Thrashers team has been successful … must continue to manifest itself. We just can’t afford to go on any prolonged losing streaks, lest we actually be one of those “elite” teams that just POURS IT ON down the stretch, to lock up our division and/or playoff berth. Think about it.