The Atlanta Thrashers were hoping to continue a home win streak tonight to a franchise record seven in a row. Unfortunately, the Thrashers faced an Avalanche team who wanted to snap a road scoring streak, complete with a new player who came from the Southeast Division. Former Capitals left winger Tomas Fleischmann has score four points in the past four games against Southeast Division opponents, and he helped the Colorado Avalanche to a 4-2 win against the Thrashers tonight.
Coming in to this game, the Thrashers were 8-2-0 in their last ten games played and fighting for second place in the division behind the Tampa Bay Lightning. Atlanta seemed to be off to a solid start on Niclas Bergfors’ seventh goal of the season, netted with helpers from Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien. Ladd and Buff have 19 and 20 assists on the year respectively, and 29 and 30 points already. Last season with Chicago, Ladd had 38 points and 34 points. Both players are obviously on season-record years.
Unfortunately, in the second period, the Avalanche’s advantage in the SOG department caught up with the Thrashers, as Fleischmann scored on an assist from former first round draft pick Matt Duchene, and Greg Mauldin also scored to put the Avalanche up 2-1. Bryan Little scored the equalizing goal for the Thrashers to tie the score up at 2-2 going in to the third period.
Unfortunately, Milan Hejduk scored at just forty two seconds in to the third period. This, coupled with a power play at 18:36, gave Atlanta a chance to get an extra attacker out there for a six on four. It did not work, as Colorado scored their second short handed goal of the evening (Mauldin’s was the first) on an empty net – Paul Stastny did the honors. The Thrashers have allowed four short handed goals against all season.
The Lightning remain in second place with a shoot out loss against the surging Edmonton Oilers. The Thrashers play again Saturday evening against the New York Islanders on Long Island. Tune in to get a chance to see the elusive Chris Mason, who hasn’t started since November 14th. He was pulled in a 6-4 loss to the Washington Capitals. Tonight was the first time since that game that the Thrashers have allowed four goals.