That probably wasn’t the start to the game that the Thrashers hoped for. Just 55 seconds in, forward Chris Thorburn got whistled for Tripping, sending the Canes on their first powerplay of the game. Poor coverage allowed Tuomo Ruutu to zip directly up the ice and wrist one past Ondrej Pavelec. After allowing five power play goals on Friday, the Thrashers wanted to effectively kill off some penalties today to right that fragile ship.
Luckily, Bryan Little decided to go on and right that ship himself. Sloppy passing’s bothered both teams so far this game, but when the Thrashers can maintain puck possession they’ve been able to go directly to the crease and apply pressure. Little got control of the puck behind the net during a melee, and his wrap-around goal on Carolina goalie Justin Peters caught the goaltender distracted. So far Little’s scored 11 goals and 13 assists for the season, which is already two goals less than his goal total last season, and ten points less than he got the entire 2009-2010 season. Unless injury strikes, this is a bounceback year for the forward.