The Atlanta Thrashers enjoyed a start to 2011 that resembled many of their games late in 2010: Dustin Byfuglien and Ondrej Pavelec came through in a big way to help them win. This time around, the two powered the team to a 4-3 overtime win over the Montreal Canadiens.
Pavelec made 47 saves in a superlative overall effort while Byfuglien scored the game winner in overtime on the power play. Bfyuglien leads NHL defenseman with 16 goals and 41 points in 42 games, a near-point per game output that is truly unusual in this era of hockey. The Thrashers brass must feel awfully bright for putting so much faith in these two young athletes.
Rich Peverley, Evander Kane and Andrew Ladd scored the other goals for Atlanta while Tomas Plekanec, P.K. Subban and Brian Gionta produced Montreal’s tallies. Both power plays were efficient, with the Thrashers going 1 for 2 and the Canadiens going 2 for 3. Tobias Enstrom earned three assists for the Thrashers.
The Thrashers moved up to sixth place in the conference, although the Rangers only need one point to leapfrog over Atlanta. That being said, their spot in the playoffs seems safe at the moment.
Carey Price (24 out of 28 saves) and the Habs are struggling greatly as of late, losing four of their last five and a 3-8-1 record in their last 12 games. While they are only one point behind the Northeast Division leading Boston Bruins, their division opponents hold three games in hand. They’re struggling at eighth place in the East, although they do have a five point lead over ninth place Carolina.
Here are video highlights from that game.