Skip to Main Content

Penguins and Thrashers try to build on wins

by John Kreiser

PENGUINS (8-8-1) at THRASHERS (7-6-3)

TV -- FS-Pittsburgh (HD); FS-South (HD)

Last 10 -- Pittsburgh 4-5-1; Atlanta 4-3-3

Season series -- It's the first of four meetings this season in a series that's been dominated by the Penguins. Atlanta's 1-0 home victory on the last Saturday of the 2009-10 season ended the Penguins' eight-game winning streak against the Thrashers.

Big story -- Both teams are coming off home wins by the same score -- 5-1. Pittsburgh beat the Lightning Friday night at home, while the Thrashers had the night off after their best performance of the season in a dominating victory against Minnesota.

Team Scope:

Penguins -- The best thing about Friday's victory was the first solid performance of the season by goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, who stopped 15 of 16 shots and earned his 150th regular-season victory.

"I don't think technically I did anything different," said Fleury, who was 1-6-0 and hadn't won in regulation before Friday. "But maybe I was a little more relaxed. I tried to not worry too much and just go out there play hockey. It was fun, fun to win at the end."

Thrashers -- The victory against the Wild was a team effort. Five players scored, Ondrej Pavelec was solid in goal and the Thrashers finished with their biggest margin of victory this season.

"They should feel good about what they accomplished," coach Craig Ramsay said.

Who's hot -- Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist in the win against Tampa Bay and is 5-4-9 during a four-game points streak. Defenseman Kris Letang has 5 assists in his last four games and 16 points in the Penguins' 17 games. … Andrew Ladd has 2 goals and 4 points in Atlanta's last three games and 16 points in 16 games so far this season.

Injury report -- Pittsburgh center Jordan Staal is still out with a broken hand. … The Thrashers hope to get Bryan Little, who scored the lone goal in Atlanta's April victory over the Penguins, back in the lineup after he missed missing six games because of a concussion.

Stat pack -- It seems hard to believe considering their firepower, but the five goals against the Lightning matched the Penguins' season-high for goals scored. … Pavelec has been shredded by the Penguins during his brief NHL career. He's lost all four decisions and has a 5.22 goals-against average.

Puck drop -- After the win against Tampa Bay, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma wasn't saying whether he would play Fleury or go with Brent Johnson, who has taken some of Fleury's playing time but struggled in his last two games. Johnson has bailed out the Penguins during the first five weeks of the season, but the Penguins know they need Fleury to carry the load for them to be the elite team they're supposed to be. Even the crowd at the Consol Energy Center knew it -- they gave him an ovation before the game started. His teammates were also in his corner.

"There was no doubt from our bench that he was going to play well tonight," said center Maxime Talbot, "and he did."

View More

The NHL has updated its Privacy Policy effective January 16, 2020. We encourage you to review it carefully.

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.