Pavelec, Armstrong shine as Thrashers upend Senators

OTTAWA (Ticker) — Rookie netminder Ondrej Pavelec took
advantage of the league’s lowest scoring team.

Pavelec made 28 saves and Colby Armstrong scored two goals in
the third period as the Atlanta Thrashers rolled to a 4-1
triumph over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday.

A second-round pick by Atlanta in 2005, the 21-year-old Pavelec
turned aside 10 shots in the first, 11 in the second and seven
in the third, but a bid for his first career shutout ended when
Chris Kelly scored with 79 seconds remaining in the game.

“For sure, that was a huge win for us,” Pavelec said. “It
doesn’t matter how you win and I am pretty happy. It was a huge
win for us. (Missing a shutout) doesn’t matter to me right

Vyacheslov Kozlov netted a power-play goal and Todd White scored
an empty-netter with the man advantage the Thrashers, who
snapped a three-game losing skid.

“One thing we talked about was playing tight and playing solid,”
Armstrong said. “Big credit to our defense, which played well –
and our goalie was a big part, too.”

Martin Gerber stopped 21 shots, but the Senators fell for the
fourth time in five contests.

The Senators, who have scored a league-low 67 goals, failed to
generate any momentum against Pavelec and the lowly Thrashers,
and scored less than two goals for the fourth straight game.

Pavelec was pulled in the first period of Friday’s 7-3 loss to
Boston after allowing three goals on four shots.

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“They were the better team for 60 minutes,” Kelly said. “We
were behind the eight-ball after the third. They played a good
road game.”

Ottawa had won seven of its last 11 matchups against the
Thrashers and fell to 11-3-3 with a tie at home in the all-time

“I wish I had the answer,” Kelly said of the team’s struggles.
“You know, you’ve just got to show up tomorrow and look forward
to the next game.”

Kozlov opened the scoring midway through the first, tipping in a
loose puck in front of the net while on the power play.

“We have been struggling with consistency all year, win one game
here, couple games bad,” Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson
said. “We are still finding out what we can do as a team.”

Armstrong gave Atlanta a two-goal advantage with the man
advantage 2:10 into the third, and converted passes from
defenseman Niclas Havelid and Eric Perrin 31 seconds later.

“We played pretty good in the second, but once they got up 2-0,
we didn’t handle that adversity very well,” Alfredsson said.

Later in the session, Little quickly responded to Kelly’s tally
by lifting a wrist shot from the left side of the opposite zone
for his ninth goal of the season to secure the victory.

“That’s our best win on the road,” Atlanta coach John Anderson
said. “We have a couple good ones at home, but certainly on the
road – it’s a textbook road game.”