Game 40: Byfuglien, Pavelec save Thrashers

Canadiens defenceman
Jaroslav Spacek and centre Jeff Halpern can’t prevent Thrashers left wing Evander Kane from scoring on Carey Price Sunday.
Dave Sidaway, The Gazette

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AUDIO: Jacques Martin | Brian Gionta | Carey Price | James Wisniewski | Hal Gill

• At a Glance: The Atlanta Thrashers can thank Ondrej Pavelec for their 4-3 overtime win on Sunday against the Canadiens. Pavelec made 47 saves for his second win of the season over the Canadiens, having shut them out 3-2 in November. With P.K. Subban in the penalty box in overtime, Dustin Byfuglien scored the winning goal from the point. Rich Peverley opened the scoring for the Thrashers 6:20 into the first period with a shot between Carey Price’s legs after a miscue at the Montreal blue line. Tomas Plekanec evened the score before the end of the first period with a chip shot over the shoulder of Pavelec with two minutes to play after a pass from James Wisniewski. Evander Kane made it 2-1 Atlanta 5:42 into the second period when he knocked a loose puck toward Price while falling and the puck squeezed between Price and the post. P.K. Subban tied the score at 2-2 midway through the second with a shot from the point on the power play, Montreal’s second power-play goal of the game. But the Thrashers took a 3-2 lead with 16 seconds to play Andrew Ladd scored from the top of the crease off a pass from Tobias Enstrom. Brian Gionta scored his 14th of the season 15:13 into the third period to tie the game 3-3 after the Canadiens spent most of the final frame pressing hard for the tying goal. Wisniewski earned another assist on the goal, his fifth point with the Canadiens in three games. The Canadiens outshot the Thrashers 49-23 in the game and 16-4 in the third period.

• What It Means: The Canadiens missed a chance to move into seventh spot in the Eastern Conference and fall to 21-16-3 for 45 points. The Canadiens are now 0-16 when trailing after two periods.

• What’s Next:
The Canadiens have a light week ahead with games on Thursday against the Penguins and then receive a visit from the Bruins on Saturday night.

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