Dustin Byfuglien’s five game winning goals leads the league among all skaters. To find another defenseman on that list, you have to scroll down to number 21 where Buffalo’s Tyler Meyers sits with three. Byfuglien tied a Thrashers record tonight for points in a game for a defenseman with four, and tied a personal marker as well while working his way atop the list of goals and points for a defenseman. Byfuglien has 25 points on the year, good for 16th in the league. He had 39 points total last season. Buff also leads defensemen in shots with 93, which is twenty shots ahead of the number two defenseman, Shea Weber. In fact, about the only category that Buff doesn’t lead league defensemen in is +/-, and at the end of this homestand that’s improved from a -2 to a +4.
Apparently Buff makes a difference. Not all of the offense comes from him, however. Fourteen different Thrashers scored during this six game homestand, and during the five game win streak the team outscored their opponents 19-3. Tonight was the first game where they were outshot by their opponents in the win streak, and thanks to Ondrej Pavelec, it didn’t matter. Pavelec has a .949SV% this season, which is third in the league. His goals against average is a tiny 1.62, also good for 3rd in the league.
Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and the six game homestand is over. The Thrashers next play Tuesday night at Colorado; the puck drops at 10:00 Eastern Time. Here’s to continuing the win streak up to a franchise record six.