Thrashers Remain Red-Hot, Dominate Habs

ATLANTA — In a game in which the Thrashers dominated Montreal in every facet of the game, the third period fisticuffs seemed to be a fitting result.

As Evander Kane and Tomas Plekanec swapped glove shots, Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban jumped into the fray. All game, he had taken liberties with the physical play and Zach Bogosian had had enough.

He pulled Subban away from the pile, and landed a couple of punches before bringing Subban to the ice. After the game, Bogosian had little to say on the topic.

“There’s no need to talk about him,” he said after Atlanta’s 3-0 home win over the Canadiens. “We all know what he’s like.”

The rough play from Montreal couldn’t be surprising considering how thoroughly Atlanta controlled the play. The Thrashers outshot Montreal 47-25 and 23-4 in the second period alone.

While head coach Craig Ramsay wasn’t particularly pleased with the third period fights, he liked how his team stood up for each other.

“They felt they needed to respond and they supported each other,” he said. “We hope it speaks to where we’re going. We’ve certainly seen it. We’ve seen the togetherness, the team taking charge on the bench and taking charge of the room. They’re demanding more of each other, but really I think they are just having more fun.

“But I can never knock when a team stands together and that’s what happened out there.”

Atlanta (10-9-3, 25 points) has now extended its winning streak to four games, including three dominant performances over divisional leaders Washington, Detroit and now Montreal. The Thrashers have outscored those opponents 13-1. Atlanta also improved to 4-1 on Friday night when it dons its alternate red jerseys.

“In past games we had a lull in some periods, but we didn’t tonight,” said center Rich Peverley. “We played a full 60 minutes and we’ve done a good job of maintaing our energy and focus.”

Peverley scored two goals — including the game winner — and Ondrej Pavelec pitched his second shutout of the season.

The Thrashers open up a shooting gallery in the second as they outshot Montreal 23-4. Atlanta was finally rewarded with a goal nearly midway through the frame when Toby Enstrom intercepted a pass at the blue line and sent a knuckling puck on goal that evaded Alex Auld to buoy Atlanta’s lead to 2-0.

Several minutes later, with Subban in the box for tripping, Peverley scored his second goal of the game on the powerplay. After taking a pass from Dustin Byfuglien near the blueline, Peverley walked in to the top of the left faceoff circle and missiled the puck over Auld, ringing the far post and bouncing in.

“It was a great play from Buff,” Peverley said. “I just shot it, and it went in.”

He also scored off a Montreal turnover late in the first.

Outside of the first period, when Pavelec made a few sprawling saves on Canadien powerplays, he faced very few high quality chances against. But Ramsay said he can see the confidence building in his young Czech goalie.

“There’s no question that you can see an attitude about him,” Ramsay said. “Just the way we walks and the way he talks. [Goaltender consultant] Clint [Malarchuk] has done such a wonderful job with both Ondrej and Chris [Mason].”

On Sunday, Ramsay’s old team, the Boston Bruins, will be in town for the conclusion of Atlanta’s six-game home stand, and Ramsay said he’s not focused on that.

“Of course I know all of them, but I’m much more focused on my own team than anyone else.”

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