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Atlanta Thrashers Final Score: A Wild Third Period Challenges, But Thrashers Defeat Leafs 5-3

The mood set at the start of the game wasn’t sustained by the Thrashers like it was on Saturday night, but the Thrashers still managed to fight their way back up into first place in the Southeast Division. Three players had two goals each tonight and goaltending was solid, but a sustained 60 minute effort didn’t look to be there.

The first goal for the Thrashers came 2:24 into the first period courtesy of Fredrik Modin. Modin tipped in a re-direct by Jim Slater of a Ron Hainsey slap shot for his fifth goal of the year. Only twenty-eight seconds later, Tobias Enstrom fired a pass from Dustin Byfuglien past Toronto goaltender Jonas Gusavsson.

The second period was the period that the Thrashers chose to take off. John Mitchell scored his first goal of the season on a power play wrist shot. The PP was on Dustin Byfuglien for tripping – a call that the Toronto announcers disagreed with and chalked it up to Buff being big and able to knock others off the puck easily.

The Thrashers got that goal back during the last minute, as Freddy Modin tipped in a Tobias Enstrom slap shot for his second goal of the night.

The third period was a wild one, with the Maple Leafs hunkering in and fighting to come back after Anthony Stewart scored his tenth goal of the season and just a minute and fifteen seconds later, Tobias Enstrom scored his second of the game, angering the Leafs fans and prompting another tossing of waffles, apparently to symbolize the team’s awful play – I’m guessing waffles over pancakes since the former’s a lot easier to by frozen than the latter.

The waffles thrown on the ice at the ACC apparently gave the Leafs super powers, because they managed to score two powerplay goals within fifteen seconds of each other (Mikhail Grabovski at 12:55 and Nikolai Kulemin at 13:10). This is where the Leafs’ comeback ended, because even with an empty net and six attackers, they weren’t able to crack Pavelec. An empty net goal by Andrew Ladd (his team-leading 12th of the year) sealed the deal.

Ondrej Pavelec stopped 37 of 40 shots, ending the night with a .925 save percentage. Chances are very good, being an out of conference game tomorrow night against St. Louis, that Pavelec will not start again until Thursday against Boston.

Tomorrow night’s game against the Blues will not be televised in either market, so no Center Ice. You can catch it on AM 680 in the Atlanta market, or if you are outside of the broadcast area, chances are very good that you will be able to hear it on 1120 AM KMOX, St. Louis’ flagship station.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.