If you ever needed proof that NHL scheduling hated the Thrashers, Atlanta is gearing up for the second game in their sixth back to back of the season, and the season's only a little over a month old. And, as an added perk the Thrashers have to play the Southeast Division leading Washington Capitals after getting roughed up by the Pittsburgh Penguins last night.
Washington did manage to lose in overtime last night to the Buffalo Sabres, giving Buffalo their first home win of the season, so the Capitals might want to redeem themselves. The Thrashers, however, might just want to not score first. They netted the first goal yesterday, and managed to lose again. Also, the Thrashers might want to look at placement for rebound goals. It was successful Thursday night against Nicklas Backstrom of the Minnesota Wild, but they squandered chance after chance last night when Marc-Andre Fleury left the goal wide open. Not having Jim Slater in the lineup means less rebound/greasy goals. Slater is extremely good at being in the right place at the right time. Slater should be in the line-up tonight with Freddy Modin's injury last night (which the nature of has not been released), and goaltender Chris Mason will get another chance against the Capitals. He is 1-0-1 against them so far this season. Today would be a wonderful chance for Mason to drop his GAA down. Currently it's at a 3.7, which is a career worst. But against Washington his GAA is a 3.04 with a solid .920 SV%.
For Washington, Michal Neuvirth has been solid against Atlanta. Traditionally, the Caps in general have been solid against Atlanta, particularly Alexander Semin, who scored a hat trick against the Thrashers the last time the two teams met up. The Thrashers gave up a hattie to Evgeny Malkin last night; I'm sure that they're not wanting to do the same thing today with anyone on the Caps.
Puck drop is at 5:00, and the game will be broadcast in HD on SportSouth.