They showed a lot of character after a depressing start, but couldn’t close the deal in overtime. The Senators jumped out to a 9-1 lead in shots, but found themselves down 2-0 at the first intermission and 3-0 late in the second period. There was no sign of the “fragile” group coach Cory Clouston has described at times this season, however, as Ottawa slowly chipped away at the lead to force overtime. Then Bryan Little sent the fans home angry with his second goal of the night.
Bryan Little, Thrashers
Who else? His top corner shot over Brian Elliott’s glove made him the overtime hero, and he also potted a rebound goal earlier in the night. Little now has four goals in his last three games.
Brian Elliott, Senators
Elliott looked like he was fighting the puck all night. He allowed the first goal of the game on Atlanta’s second shot, gave up a big rebound on goal No. 2 and couldn’t freeze the puck on the third. Wins are rare when a goalie gives up four goals on just 24 shots. Elliott hasn’t picked up a W since Nov. 27. Dishonourable mention to the defensive duo of Matt Carkner and Chris Campoli. It was on the ice for all three Atlanta goals in regulation.
Fans saw both the good and the bad sides of their No. 1 centre Monday night. Spezza appeared headed for the ‘Stud’ category after trying up the game on a penalty shot midway through the third period. He gave it back in overtime, however, delivering a trademarked no-look pass at the opposition blue line right to a streaking Little. With that, the Thrashers moved another point ahead of the Senators in the standings. Their advantage is now eight.
- .833: Brian Elliott’s save percentage.
- 1-9-1: Ottawa’s record after allowing the first goal this season.
- 4-1-0: Atlanta goalie Ondrej Pavelec’s record in his last six games against the Senators.
- 3: Consecutive wins for the Thrashers.
YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
Daniel Alfredsson has hit a lot of milestones in his lengthy career, but here’s one he’ll be happy he avoided: In his 11th season as captain, No. 11 almost went 11 games without a point. He snapped the futility streak when Brent Sopel and Ron Hainsey took turns throwing the puck in front of the net within seconds of each other. Alfredsson one-timed the second giveaway into the cage and lifted both arms skyward in relief.
How good was the Thrashers’ decision to put Dustin Byfuglien back on the point after acquiring him from the Chicago Blackhawks over the summer? His second period tally set a new franchise record for goals by a defenceman with 11…and it only took 31 games. Byfuglien also picked up an assist on a particularly entertaining shift in the second period. He circled the entire Ottawa zone untouched before lobbing a shot at the net that was eventually bashed in on a rebound.