Now THIS was a fun game! Another 16k plus in attendance today to watch a Little bit of everything! I know there were a few players today who definitely deserve the MVP award for the 2010-2011 season. Blake Wheeler started it out early with the first goal just over 4 minutes into the game however, Ottawa, currently on a “kick butt and take names” rampage across the NHL, was right there to answer back as Marek Svatos tied the game less than 2 minutes later.
The first period was chock full of penalties for Ottawa, 2 total penalties for Atlanta, 1 fighting and 1 roughing. It was good to see Boulton back on the ice, though a hat trick would have been beyond wicked, I was more than satisfied to see Ben Maxwell’s first NHL goal, followed up just a short time later with his first assist in the NHL on Mark Stuart’s first goal as an Atlanta Thrasher.
Today Atlanta again held the opposing team to less than 30 shots on goal. Amazing considering our track record when shooting over 40. We ended with 47 shots on goal for the day. Unfortunately, after all is said and done, Atlanta went 0 for 5 in power plays tonight (with 47 shots on goal). Rumor has it that Craig Anderson, newly acquired from Colorado to Ottawa, has been the reason for the Senator’s most recent winning streak.
Taking this game into a shoot-out finale only made it that much more exciting. Chris Mason stopped every Senator in the shoot out with Andrew Ladd scoring the only goal, making it his 28th and the game winner. This was the 27th time the Atlanta Thrashers put themselves into overtime, the most currently in the NHL. The Thrashers also set a new franchise record when Little and Maxwell scored just 19 seconds apart from each other in the second period.
In the standings, both the Carolina Hurricanes and the Toronto Maple Leafs lost last night so the win today actually allowed the Atlanta Thrashers to chisel two points off our deficit. The top 4 spots have now officially been clinched with Boston securing their spot today. Tomorrow both Carolina and Toronto will be playing while Toronto plays the current 8th seated Buffalo Sabres and the Atlanta Thrashers will be traveling to Montreal for their final meeting with the Canadiens on Tuesday.