Ondrej Pavelec; Arturs Kulda; Darryl Bryce

Save of the Night – Ondrej Pavelec (February 7)

Aside from the occasional night off – or the even less common instance when a save or goal isn’t deemed worthy – the gang at PHT will decide which tally or stop is the best of any given night. Once those two winners are determined, we’ll share our reasoning (and most importantly, the video clip for each) in posts for your viewing pleasure.

By just about any measure, Monday was a bad night for the Atlanta Thrashers.

The floundering group dropped their fourth consecutive team to the mediocre Toronto Maple Leafs, the cherry on top of a two-win month. Obviously Atlanta isn’t that far behind eighth place Carolina (the Hurricanes only own games in hand over the Thrashers, not even points), but that shouldn’t dull the tension.

Perhaps the only comforting moments came when Dustin Byfuglien finally broke his 13-game goal scoring drought and when Ondrej Pavelec made an absolutely brilliant stop on Tyler Bozak. Both important Thrashers combined for a stomach-turning clip as Byfuglien coughed up an awful turnover to set the table for a Nikolai Kulemin goal, but at least they can watch this Save of the Night winner for some comfort.

Habs claim Byron off waivers from Flames

Paul Byron
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Montreal added some forward depth on Tuesday, acquiring diminutive forward Paul Byron off waivers from Calgary.

Byron, 26, is a veteran of nearly 150 career NHL games, most coming with the Flames. Despite fairly solid production over the last two years — 40 points in 104 games — he was exposed to waivers on Monday, along with fellow forward Mason Raymond.

(Calgary does have a logjam of players at forward, hence parting ways with Byron and Raymond.)

Byron can play both wing and center but, at 5-foot-7, 153 pounds, is one of the most undersized skaters in the league. Thankfully for him, Montreal has an affinity for undersized forwards, with the likes of Brendan Gallagher (5-foot-9, 184 pounds) and David Desharnais (5-foot-7, 174 pounds) already on the active roster.

Byron could also fill Zack Kassian‘s roster spot. Kassian is currently suspended without pay while undergoing Stage 2 of the NHL’s Substance Abuse program.

Isles claim goalie Berube off waivers

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Jaroslav Halak
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The New York Islanders have claimed goalie Jean-Francois Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings, the club announced today.

Berube won the Calder Cup last season with AHL Manchester, but the 24-year-old has yet to appear in an NHL game.

That the Isles claimed Berube could be evidence that Jaroslav Halak will not be ready to start the season after all.

If that’s the case, Berube would back up Thomas Greiss, with Stephon Williams expected to go to the AHL.

The Isles open their regular season Friday at home versus the Blackhawks, then play the next day in Chicago.