Rough night for the Thrashers. It must be frustrating when you play generally a good, solid team game and you are all over the opposition’s goaltender like a swarm of bees, and nothing goes in. The Thrashers peppered Carey Price 41 times, but nights like tonight did nothing but prove why Price has more wins than any other goaltender in the NHL.
The game was fairly evenly matched until Max Pacioretty fired a slapper past Chris Mason at 13:22 of the first period. As frustrating as it was to have Mason allow a goal on five shots during the first, there honestly wasn’t anything that he could have done to prevent the perfectly aimed shot from Pacioretty from going in the net.
The first period ended with an Anthony Stewart cross-checking penalty, and began with a James Wisniewski snap shot over the glove of Mason that was fairly stoppable. The Habs went 1-for-5 on the power play, but it was still better than Atlanta’s inability to score on seven chances.
Failure to capitalize on open shots and power plays cost the Thrashers tonight. Their only goal came in the third period, when Nik Antropov elevated the puck over the pads of Carey Price and into the goal. Price is excellent at slamming the pads down and protecting the ice surface, and that technique works so well with the Thrashers, who seem to be incapable of lifting the puck on the shot. Price’s technique is what kept so many of the pucks out of the net that an average goalie might’ve allowed.
Brian Gionta iced the game, and probably Atlanta’s playoff chances, with an empty net goal at the end of the third period. The Thrashers continue their five game homestand, at which they’re 1-1-1 so far (and during which Mason has a solid 1.45 GAA), on Thursday night against the last place
Binghampton Ottawa Senators.