The fact that Victor Hedman won it for the Bolts is an odd metaphor for the game in general, and how the Thrashers play against the Lightning. Atlanta is the sole reason that Mike Smith’s stats aren’t worse than they are. Neither team played to win in the final period, with both teams managing just four shots on goal. Tampa Bay didn’t get a shot off in the overtime period until there were just five seconds left. Tampa Bay was tired from their recent western Canada road trip, but the Thrashers were inexcusably flat.
Ondrej Pavelec, who has not played well in shootouts traditionally, was solid, stopping three shots before Victor Hedman snuck a goal past him.
Tonight’s OT loss coupled with Washington’s OT loss leaves the conference standings leave the Capitals still two points in first, but moves Tampa back into second place because they hold the points tie-breaker of having played one less game than the Thrashers.
Atlanta plays the Carolina Hurricanes tomorrow night at Philips Arena. Puck drop is at 7, and the roads should be clear. Free Thrash, buy a ticket, and head down.