Fourteen times the Thrashers have allowed an empty net goal, which is the league high. Not only is that indicative of how many one goal games the Thrashers have been involved in, but it also shows how inattentive the players on-ice can be to defense. A bad face-off cost the Thrashers against Vancouver, and a turnover by Tim Stapleton cost them tonight.
Aside from the two goals allowed in the first, Pavelec was perfect. The last two periods he stopped everything that the Canadiens threw at him, and overall stopped 26 of the Habs’ 28 shots. His counterpart Carey Price was sharper, however. He allowed just one goal on 31 shots, and the goal that he did allow more than likely never should have happened. Eric Boulton inadvertently high-sticked and cut Hal Gill on the way in on a rush, and no call was made on the play. Promptly after the high-stick, he passed the puck to Nik Antropov for the goal. The Habs argued – and got a make-up call on Dustin Byfuglien – but the goal stood.
Of course, it was a moot point when Andrei Kostitsyn scored the empty-netter. With that the Thrashers fall back to .500, stay at 76 points, and miss a chance to gain a couple on Buffalo. At this point, it doesn’t matter. The Thrashers’ season probably ended on two very similar, very avoidable empty net goals.