UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Rob Schremp will get his chance Thursday.
The Thrashers forward, picked up on waivers from the New York Islanders on Feb. 28, will play center against his former team. He will be between Evander Kane and Radek Dvorak. Schremp played mostly right wing in his nine previous games with the Thrashers.
“I put him in at center some against Buffalo [Saturday],” coach Craig Ramsay said. “He’s a natural centerman. … I’m hoping he has a spark in here that he wants to show the Islanders that they made a mistake. That’s what happens to many guys when they come back to a building that they’ve been in and they want to show that organization up a little bit. Hopefully he does that. He’s a decent faceoff guy. He can make plays. He can score in tight. We are hoping that he’s going to come out and have some jump.”
Mason gets start in goal
Chris Mason will start against the Islanders, the first of back-to-back games for the Thrashers. Ondrej Pavelec is likely to start Friday’s home game against Vancouver.
“We are better to have two fresh goalies,” Ramsay said. “[Mason] deserves a chance to start a game. We need our goalies to play well. We need them to make some key saves, especially early in games. We don’t want to fall behind. It’s really important for our goaltenders to understand the value that they have. When we were hot, when we were good earlier, our goalies were really good. We know they can do it.”
Mason has not started since March 5, although he has relieved Pavelec in two of the past four games.
“For me, I have to stop the puck and keep the guys in the game,” Mason said. “We have to win. That’s it.”
Boulton out, Maxwell in
Eric Boulton required 25 stitches to close a facial cut after being hit with a puck during Tuesday’s practice. With cuts closed on his cheek and the inside of his mouth, Boulton will be scratched Thursday as a precaution.
Ben Maxwell will make his third appearance with the Thrashers after being obtained from Montreal in the deal that sent Brent Sopel to the Canadiens before the trade deadline. Maxwell played left win on a line with Tim Stapleton and Anthony Stewart.
“To play the kind of aggressive style of play that [Boulton] does, we didn’t want him to go out there and get hurt again,” Ramsay said. “This was an opportunity to give Maxwell a game but we would rather not see Bolts get hit in the face again and have it open up. This way, he gets an extra day of rest.”
Hainsey turns 30
Thrashers defenseman Ron Hainsey turned 30 years old Thursday. Hainsey will appear in his 479th NHL game over eight seasons.
Hainsey has six points (one goal, five assists) in the past six games, including three assists in the past two.