Thrashers 3, Canadiens 0
The Atlanta Thrashers are making themselves right at home at Philips Arena.
Ondrej Pavelec made 25 saves for his second shutout in a week, Rich Peverley scored twice and the Thrashers beat the Montreal Canadiens 3-0 on Friday night for their season-high fourth straight victory – all at home.
”I’m glad to see we can win in our building,” Pavelec said after the Thrashers improved to 7-5-1 at Philips Arena.
Toby Enstrom added a goal and an assist for the Thrashers. Atlanta (11-9-3) has outscored its opponents 15-2 during the four games. The Thrashers last won four in a row from Nov. 25-30, 2009.
Pavelec, who has four career shutouts in 74 games, also blanked Washington 5-0 on Nov. 19. In his four-game win streak, he has stopped 114 of 116 shots (.983 per cent).
”It was a team effort. We have to keep rolling,” Pavelec said.
”I think it starts with Pavs. He’s been playing awesome for us,” defenseman Zach Bogosian said. ”It’s definitely comfortable for a guy like myself playing against some top lines and he’s behind you stopping a lot of pucks.”
The Canadiens (14-8-1) have lost only three of their last nine, but have dropped two of their last three.
Peverley opend the scoring with 10 seconds left in the first period, knocking the puck past goalie Alex Auld. Niclas Bergfors and Enstrom drew assists on Peverley’s fourth goal.
”We are playing a full 60 minutes. In the past we have had some lulls in the periods and I think we have done a good job of maintaining our consistency and focus,” Peverley said.
Enstrom then got his third goal at 8:52 of the second period, a shot from near the blue line past an apparently screened Auld, who was making only his second start of the season.
Peverley then added a power-play goal at 15:35 of the second period, driving a perfect pass from Dustin Byfuglien past Auld for his fifth goal.
”The first one (goal) was a broken play. The puck just kept bouncing. It was a lucky bounce, it found the hole,” Peverley said. ”The second one, I just shot it, and it went in.”
The Thrashers outshot the Canadiens 23-4 in the period and it could have been worse for Montreal had it not been for the outstanding play of Auld, who made at least a half-dozen excellent stops.
”The way we played in the second period was outstanding,” Pavelec said.
”They’re definitely on a roll. Their goalie’s making saves. They’re getting getting contributions from everyone. They’re a solid team on the rise,” Auld said.
”It was nice to get a lot of work,” he said of the 47 shots by the Thrashers. ”I was screened on a couple of them.”
NOTES: The 23 second-period shots on goal by the Thrashers matched the second-highest in franchise history in a period. The most was 24 against Washington on Dec. 16, 2003. The Thrashers outshot the Canadiens 47-25. … The most shots in a game by the Thrashers is 50 on Dec. 21, 2009 against the Canadiens. … Canadiens D Roman Hamrik needs one point for 600 in his career. … Byfuglien led defensemen with eight goals and was second in points with 20 entering the game. He had scored goals in three straight games prior to Friday night and had four winning goals, tied for the league lead.