As they have so many times already this season, the Thrashers found themselves in a two-goal hole at home before mounting a comeback charge. This was the case in a pair of losses to Washington as well as in their home defeats to San Jose and Columbus. A couple of Sunday’s ago they were able to finally climb all the way out to beat the St. Louis Blues 3-2 in a shootout after netting a pair of third period goals.
Thursday night the same script was followed as Boston took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission thanks to a pair of close-in redirection goals that got by Ondrej Pavelec. Then and only then, just as the script is written, the Thrashers began their attempt to hunt down the Bruins.
Just before the halfway point in the second period, the Thrashers cut the deficit in half. At first, it looked like Nik Antropov had earned his seventeenth assist of the year…a secondary helper on Toby Enstrom’s blast from the left point. However, upon further review, it was determined that the puck had…ahem…nicked Antropov’s stick on the way into the net.
Hence, Nik has found his way off of Schnide Island…much the same way Bryan Little scored earlier in the month via a deflection off an Enstrom shot…leaving Marty Reasoner and Jim Slater to duke it out for “Last Off the Island” honors.
Antropov now has a goal and 16 assists and his +9 rating is tied with Pavel Kubina for the highest on the team.
Five minutes later, the captain tied the score while on the power pl…er, um, excuse me…the Coca-Cola Power Play. For Kovy, it was goal number 13 on the season…6th while on the man advantage. Kovalchuk also assisted on the other two Atlanta goals and was a +1. He now has accounted for 21 overall points and is a +4.
Unfortunately, Michael Ryder returned the favor a couple minutes later with a power play goal of his own and the Thrashers found themselves down again heading into the break. It was Ryder’s second goal of the game.
The third period was all action…29 shots on goal in total…but no goals. At least not before the third member of Atlanta’s Russian Front, Maxim Afinogenov, snapped home a winner from the right circle with but 41.4 seconds left in the third. It was Max’s 8th of the season and fifth in the last four games. He finished the game with two points and a +2 with 4 shots on goal….for the season Afinogenov now has 8 goals 11 assists and is a +3.
The home team outshot Boston 3-1 in the five-minute overtime, but failed to close the deal…Patrice Bergeron then scored the only goal in the shootout and the Bruins skated away with the extra point. Rich Peverley, Slava Kozlov and Kovalchuk each were unable to convert on their shootout chances.
Pavelec stopped 39 of the 42 shots he face on the night…his record moving to 6-5-2 with a 2.89 GAA and .918 SV%.
Beating Bruins Becoming Bedeviling
The last time Atlanta was able to take 2 points from Boston was back on January 29, 2007…a 5-0 thumping at Philips Arena. Hmmm…if memory serves, Alexei Zhitnik…ahem…played a big part in that win by scoring a goal and assisting on another.
Since that time, however, the Thrashers have gone 0-5-2 in the previous seven matches…including a season sweep last year.
Athletic Cup Night in Thrasherville
Next up for the Thrashers is Sidney Crosby and the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins who will pay a visit Saturday night. Somewhere in Chicago, Boris Valabik cringed, doubled over and covered his…ah…his…ummm…covered himself at the mention of the Pens captain’s name.
Still no word on whether or not the Thrashers are going to take my suggestion of making a Penguins game “Athletic Cup Night” at Philips Arena.
Thanksgiving Eve Gathering At TJs
If you’re not planning on traveling this Thanksgiving holiday, I hope you’ll join me and a gathering of other Thrasher-maniacs over at TJs to watch the Thrashers play in Detroit. It’ll be Wednesday night…Thanksgiving eve. As always, it should be a great time.
Good people…good food…good service and, hopefully, a good Thrashers win in Motown.
Oh, and the game is scheduled to be aired on SportsSouth, so those turkeys at Dish Network won’t screw us this time.
A Bird In Hand Is Worth 250 Grand
What’s that old saying about a bird in hand equaling two in the bush? Well, here is a situation where a bird from the hand of an NFL owner is worth $250,000.