The Thrashers have had a middling record this year in general, but have managed to put up a good fight against the current Southeast Division leading Washington Capitals. The Thrash are 1-1-1 so far this year in games against the Caps, all of which have been started by Chris Mason. Mason was pulled the last game ion Sunday between the two teams after allowing four goals on sixteen shots, and Pavelec filled in for him blocking fifteen out of sixteen shots on the net. Pavs was outstanding in Wednesday's 2-1 loss against the Florida Panthers, and facing Alexander Semin tonight is his reward.
Some gift. Semin has fourteen goals and eleven assists this year, which leads Alexander Ovechkin by four in the goal department and ties him at 25 in the point standings. Neither player had a brilliant game on Sunday (least of all Ovechkin, who was a turnover machine that night), but they're dangerous and shouldn't be left uncovered in front of the net.
Dustin Byfuglien was at the morning skate this morning, according to Ben Wright. Not sure about his status for the game tonight, but the lines at practice and probably for tonight's game are this:
Coach Craig Ramsay was not thrilled with either Eager or Slater's performance on Wednesday, limiting their ice time significantly in the third period. The Boulton-Slater-Thorburn line is always a solid bet for chemistry, so they've been reunited in a bid to get the team to be able to run four, effort filled lines for the entire game. The Thrashers played good hockey for the first and third periods on Wednesday, but imploded during the second, acting like they didn't want to be out there. This is something that new captain Andrew Ladd might want to work on - motivation. It's hard playing at a half-empty Philips Arena, but if the team wants a crowd to play in front of of their own fans, they need to give their fans a reason to come. There were a good chunk there Wednesday for a game against the Panthers, and they played flat. That can't happen tonight. They're already second to last in the Southeast Division. A free fall's hard to recover from at any time of the year.