Atlanta Thrashers At Ottawa Senators: Seventh And Eighth In The East Battle It Out

The Thrashers travel to Ottawa to take on the Senators tonight in one of four road games this month. Puck drop is at 7:30.

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Atlanta Thrashers Fall 5-2 To Ottawa Senators

In a night that saw the Carolina Hurricanes, Washington Capitals, and the Tampa Bay Lightning all win, the Thrashers dropped their game against the Ottawa Senators 5-2. Jason Spezza netted his second of the night at just 1:23 of the third period on a power play caused by an Andrew Ladd boarding call.

Anthony Stewart scored his career high fifth goal of the season on the power play at 5:12. The Thrashers were 2 for 5 on the PP, continuing their climb up the NHL’s rankings (the Thrashers are currently the fifth ranked PP in the NHL).

A positive to take away from this game is that the Thrashers allowed less than 30 SOG (barely, at 29) and outshot the Senators 37-29. Increased pressure and a higher number of quality scoring chances might do the trick Thursday night when the Thrashers take on the defensively minded Minnesota Wild at 7:00.

Get down to Philips early and fight the football traffic.

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Chris Mason Pulled As Ottawa Senators Score Two More On Atlanta Thrashers

After a generally strong first period, the second period was a lax one for the Atlanta Thrashers. At 5:04, Chris Phillips rocketed one in past Chris Mason that the goaltender didn’t even see, and then four minutes later at 9:12, Jesse Winchester shoved a puck through Mason that may or may not have been assisted by Fredrik Modin, who was also standing there shoving. Mason was pulled after allowing four goals on 18 shots, and Pavelec was placed in.

The team has been playing slightly better hockey since the goaltenders were switched, but the play is sloppy and the turnovers are too many. Some horribly obvious apathy takes over the Thrashers at the end of the first period, beginning of the second almost every game, and then they pick the play up at the end of the second. It tends to be a crapshoot to see if the intensity continues through the third. They need to tighten up positioning, and someone needs to encourage net-crashing to scoop up rebounds. That has never been Atlanta’s strength, but there have been several rebounds this game that could have very well ended as a goal had someone been placed in front of the net, or off to the side. Too much bunching going on at one side of the net.

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Atlanta Thrashers Down By A 2-1 Score Against The Ottawa Senators

Take small solace in the fact that the Thrashers scored first on an Andrew Ladd power play goal at 4:01. Yes, it was the Thrashers’ 17th PPG of the season, but Atlanta has only won one game in which they’ve scored first. The powerplay was solid, but the penalty kill was weak.

Jason Spezza scored high on Chris Mason at 11:05, and then not long afterwards at 15:34 Rich Peverley got a call for a slash, giving Ottawa’s power play a chance to strike. Jason Spezza won the offensive zone face-off, got the puck directly to Sergei Gonchar on the point, and Gonchar fired a one timer past Mason.

Impressively, Atlanta leads in SOG at a 11-10 margin. The key to winning tonight is limiting powerplay chances and shots on goal; one of those two the Thrashers are occasionally sharp at. I’ll let you guess which one.

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