When Anthony Stewart scored in overtime last night against the Colorado Avalanche, it was the end result of an attempt to get the puck on teammate Dustin Byfuglien’s stick. Whatever works to match a franchise record six straight wins, you take it. Finding ways to win hockey games, especially in this fashion, is a tremendous confidence builder.
Individual performances by starting goaltender Ondrej Pavelec and defenseman Dustin Byfuglien continued to lead the way for Atlanta. Another two point game for “Big Buff” and a six straight victory for Pavelec. Coming of a week where Pavelec and Byfuglien were the #1 and #2 stars of the week followed by Pittsburgh Penguin captain Sidney Crosby at #3, both players continued to set the tone for this hockey club.
Ondrej Pavelec turned aside 29 shots to secure a 3-2 victory for the Thrashers, but it was a victory that broke a record for consecutive wins by a goalie. Former Thrasher goaltender Johan Hedberg shared that record with Pavelec as both had five wins previously.
Regulation goals for forward Rich Peverley and Defensemen Dustin Byfuglien were enough to secure one point heading into the extra frame. Colorado goaltender Peter Budaj was shaking his head just under two minutes into overtime as Anthony Stewart attempted to find the tape of Byfuglien, but instead found the back of the net.
Atlanta, who collected another two points prior to the trip to Pittsburgh, will carry a six game winning streak into Consol Energy Center on Thursday night as they face Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the Pittsburgh Penguins for a 7pm meeting.
The Thrashers are easily one of the hottest teams in the National Hockey League, but it will be back to business tomorrow night against a difficult opponent with a hot streak of their own. Pittsburgh won their seventh straight game on Monday night at Madison Square Garden, defeating the New York Rangers by a final score of 3-1. Captain Sidney Crosby leads the NHL in points with 41.
A winning streak may be on the line for the Atlanta Thrashers tomorrow night, but the most important part of tomorrow night’s game will be the continued chemistry between the players and the coaching staff. The players are continuiously buying into the theories of Head Coach Craig Ramsey and his staff and it’s working. It’s quite the story, if you ask me.
The Thrashers welcomed back a familar face, agreeing to terms with free agent center Tim Stapleton. Stapleton, who had been playing with the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage was a member of the Thrashers Organization in 2009-10. Stapleton adds depth at the center position.
Forward Patrice Cormier was activated from IR and assigned to the Chicago Wolves of the AHL. He made his season debut last night.
Fredrik Modin is back on the ice. No time table though for his return.