DETROIT – Ondrej Pavelec made himself right at home at Joe Louis Arena – at the expense of the slumping Detroit Red Wings.
Pavelec made 40 saves for his second shutout of the season and his career to lift the Atlanta Thrashers to a 2-0 victory Wednesday night. Slava Kozlov had a goal and an assist, and Nik Antropov also scored to help Atlanta snap a three-game losing streak.
“It’s pretty fun to play in front of this crowd and those people,” Pavelec said. “They were loud.”
They would have been louder if not for his 19 saves in the first period.
“No question Pavelec was outstanding in the first period,” Atlanta coach John Anderson said. “I thought we got better as the night went on.”
The Thrashers have won seven games on the road.
Jimmy Howard stopped 23 shots for Detroit. The Red Wings have lost four of their last five games and are in a serious goal drought. They have only one goal in their last eight periods and only one goal on 80 shots in their last two home games.
“We’re getting some good shots off, we’re getting traffic,” Todd Bertuzzi said. “Something we can’t really get frustrated about. I know it’s hard … It’s something that doesn’t sit well with the team. We’ve got to get out of this ASAP.”
It appeared that Zetterberg would put the Red Wings on the board 7:01 into the second period but Pavelec made a spectacular glove save, sliding across the crease, on Zetterberg’s one-time slap shot from the right circle. Pavelec left the crease to make a pass that was intercepted just inside the blue line.
“I just tried to get there as quick as possible,” Pavelec said. “I just put the glove there and he hit the glove.”
Zetterberg was especially frustrated.
“I should be able to make that shot,” he said. “And it should go in.”
Antropov opened the scoring 5:02 into the game when he tapped a cross-crease pass into the empty side of the net for his second goal. It came immediately after a flurry of great chances for Detroit.
Kozlov’s power-play goal at 9:08 of the second period made it 2-0. He scored on a breakaway, beating Howard with a fake and a backhand shot between the pads, after taking a pass from Ilya Kovalchuk at the Detroit blue line after leaving the bench. He also took advantage of the large gap Red Wing defencemen Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski left between them.
NOTES: Kozlov played for Detroit from 1991-92 to 2000-01. … Thrashers executive vice-president and general manager Don Waddell is a Detroit native. … Former Red Wings star Ted Lindsay attended the game.