Devil Went Down To GA

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image: Scott Cunningham/ Getty Images

“Looking for a soul to steal. He was in a bind ‘cuz he was way behind and willing to make a deal…”

I don’t think he walked away with our souls, not this time, but he came pretty close.

The evening started with a moment of silence for longtime fan and well admired Mr. T.R. Benning Jr. In the most admirable fashion, Mrs. Maria Benning was there to show her support to her team though, missing from the seat beside her was that sweet gentleman with his scarf and hat. And when the Kiss Cam time came, it was only a video of their magical kiss. His memory was all around though…

With no score in the first, Andrew Ladd and Brian Little assisted Blake Wheeler to start things up mid-way through the second. With just 16 seconds left of our 3-on-five penalty kill, Travis Zajac knocked one up just inside the net to tie the game. The second period would end tied.
In the third period, Dustin Byfuglien finally capitalized on NJ’s 3rd penalty of the evening and brought the Thrashers to a 2-1 score, leading the game for the second time. Tobias Enstrom and Brian Little assisted on this goal. This goal brought both Dustin Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom to 50 points so far for the season, Byfuglien with NHL leading 20 goals by a defenseman and 30 assists and Tobias with 9 goals and 41 assists. Brian Little is the team leader in multi-point games with 12.
Unfortunately, with yet another power play for the NJ Devils, Ilya Kovalchuk tied up the game with just over 12 minutes remaining. Throughout the majority of the game, the Atlanta Thrashers played rather quiet and uninspired. It was in the last few minutes of regulation that the team really woke up out there. With just seconds to go, we almost won the game, but alas, luck doesn’t seem to often be on our side and the game went into overtime.
The Atlanta Thrashers were blessed with a power play just 1:34 into the 5 minute overtime and failed to score. With 4 shots on goal, just 20 seconds after the power play expired, Evander Kane was called for tripping. Within another 18 seconds, Travis Zajac, assisted by a pass from Elias to Kovalchuk, scored with the NJ Devils first shot in overtime, ending the game 3-2.

As bad as it could have been, with the Atlanta Thrashers doubling up the number of penalty minutes, all goals from the NJ side were power play goals, one of which was a 5-on-3. It is a fine line we are walking right now, getting every call under the sun thrown on us (while NJ pins down a player and has no penalty called, pulls a player by his stick, etc…the list goes on and on). We want to play smart, but we can’t play scared of the ref either. The penalties hurt us last night, 3 lashes from the pitchfork, but, we did walk away with a point. And right now, every point matters.

Check out the Kovalchuk fans over at NJ Devils – Pucks and Pitchforks. Funny, the first thought in my head this morning was, “Wow, no matter who the player, no one gets Boo’ed like that one does.” Don’t worry devils, you can keep that one.

For all hockey news – Too Many Men on the Site

Tags: Andrew Ladd Atlanta Thrashers Blake Wheeler Brian Little Dustin Byfuglien ELias Evander Kane Kovalchuk Maria Benning NJ Devils T.R. Benning Jr Tobias Enstrom Zajac

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