After a slow first period that didn’t see much in the way of action, the Thrashers decided to pick up the momentum in the second period, which was the opposite of the past few games, where the second period had been the Thrashers least up-tempo of the three. This game, the second is where they gained charge.
Rich Peverley’s seventh goal of the year was a deflection on a boomer from the point courtesy of Dustin Byfuglien on a pass from Andrew Ladd. That marked the 18th assist for both players, and the 12th time in 14 games that the Thrashers have scored first.
After killing Alexander Burmistrov’s penalty, Burmie was perfectly placed for a breakaway goal on Washington, but was blocked. Seven minutes later, Burmistrov got his goal. Burmistrov’s goal was pad side high, squeaking in behind Semyon Varlamov.
The Thrashers killed off another high-sticking penalty later in the period on Dustin Byfuglien. Their penalty kill has been steadily improving, though so far their powerplay does not have a tally yet in this game, probably because they have only had one chance. The Capitals’ penalty kill is 7th in the league at 85.2%, and the Thrashers PP is currently 3rd at 24.3%.
Alexander Ovechkin finally broke his goal scoring drought by scoring his 11th of the season at 19:11 of the second, on a play that left him open as Byfuglien was reaching for a stick from a forward. An extended sequence in their own end left the Thrashers vulnerable to Ovie, and he is one person that you don’t want to be left vulnerable to.
The Thrashers might want to limit the shots on goal for the Caps this game. So far Atlanta has managed 22 shots on goal, which is respectable, but the Capitals have fired 35 shots at Ondrej Pavelec.