ATLANTA – Thrashers captain Andrew Ladd believes his team is too disciplined to let a poor first period define the rest of the game.
Once he saw his teammates skating hard and limiting mistakes at the start of the second, Ladd stopped being concerned.
Zach Bogosian scored 2:11 into overtime, Ondrej Pavelec made 27 saves and Atlanta rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat the Nashville Predators 3-2 on Monday night.
“The second period set us up for the third period,” Ladd said. “We were playing with confidence. We were playing smarter. We were winning battles we didn’t win in the first period.”
The Thrashers have won two straight and eight of nine, including six consecutive victories at home. Nashville ended a three-game winning streak.
Bogosian’s wrister from the top of the right circle, the defenceman’s second goal this season, beat goalie Anders Lindback to the stick side.
Nashville led 2-0 in the first. Colin Wilson snapped in a wrist shot from the top of the slot at 8:39 for his fifth goal. Steve Sullivan’s eighth of the season, a tip-in, gave the Predators a two-goal cushion 2:30 later.
“We’re having our lulls,” Atlanta coach Craig Ramsay said. “Everybody is going to have them, but you can’t have them the length of time we had them. They fought back, though.”
The Thrashers cut the deficit to 2-1 on Jim Slater’s fourth goal 14:25 into the second. Slater scored after winning a faceoff in the left circle. He redirected Tobias Enstrom’s slap shot from the left wing boards to beat goalie Anders Lindback.
Facing the NHL’s top power-play unit, Nashville killed its first three penalties to extend its streak to 35 straight chances. That broke the franchise mark set from April 1-13, 2006.
But Ladd’s 10th goal made it 2-2. He put in a backhander from below the right circle, the first power-play goal against the Predators in 10 games. Rich Peverley helped set up the goal by beating Jerred Smithson on the faceoff.
After Bryan Little controlled the puck for Atlanta, Ladd was in the right spot when Dustin Byfuglien’s slap shot bounced off Lindback.
“We did a good job on the battle off the draw,” Ladd said. “I saw (Byfuglien) winding up, so I just went to the net in the case there was a rebound. Lucky for me, there was, and I just popped it in.”
Nashville coach Barry Trotz was disappointed that his team won just 29 per cent of faceoffs.
“They got both of their goals off faceoffs,” Trotz said. “We were only 29 per cent. That’s not very good. They started with the puck a lot of time, and a lot of times it’s in the offensive zone and that’s always dangerous.”
Pavelec (9-5-2) made his 10th straight start and 16th consecutive appearance. He showed why he began the game ranked second in the NHL in save percentage and goals-against average.
Lindback made 34 saves, but he couldn’t stop Bogosian after the third overall pick in the 2008 draft skated down the right side and took Ben Eager’s long pass.
“I think he was going to dump it in there,” Bogosian said. “I just screamed, and he heard me and just slid it over, and I came in. I wanted to shoot before their two guys came over. They were closing on me pretty quick. So I just wanted to get a shot off, and luckily it went in.”
Notes: Atlanta improved to 5-3 in overtime. Nashville dropped to 4-6. … Thrashers LW Evander Kane played 21 shifts after missing two games because of a left knee injury. … Trotz said C David Legwand, who missed his ninth game with a lower body injury, hopes to return Wednesday at Detroit. … Atlanta had scored first in six straight games and 12 of 14.