NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, October 30th (All times eastern)
Atlanta Thrashers (5-1-2-0) at Minnesota Wild (3-6-0-1), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Thrashers try to remain unbeaten in regulation on the road this season when they face off with the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center tonight.
On Monday, Marc Savard scored two goals, including the game-winner at 4:45 of overtime, to lead the Thrashers over the Toronto Maple Leafs, 3-2, at Air Canada Centre.
Savard and Jeff Cowan scored goals 22 seconds apart near the midway point of the third period to tie the game at 2-2 and force overtime. Pasi Nurminen turned aside 25 shots for the Thrashers, who improved to 5-1-2-1 on the young season and 2-0-1-1 away from home.
The Thrashers went into the extra session on a power play thanks to a roughing penalty by Toronto netminder Ed Belfour. However, they were unable to score and Toronto was awarded with a four-minute man advantage when Andy Sutton was whistled for elbowing.
Leafs forward Mats Sundin was then sent at 4:21 of overtime after hooking Frantisek Kaberle on a breakaway attempt. The call evened the sides at 4-on-4 and helped the Thrashers win the game just 24 seconds later.
On the winning goal, Ilya Kovalchuk passed into the slot and Savard skated to the left circle before sending a wrister over Belfour's glove hand.
The Thrashers have outscored opponents, 11-2, in the third period this season.
Kovalchuk, who leads the NHL with 15 points (10g, 5a) failed to score for the first time in five games, but did extend his points streak to five.
Minnesota, meanwhile, enters tonight's contest on a high note after Alexandre Daigle and Andrew Brunette each scored power-play goals to lead the Wild to a 3-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.
Wes Walz added a shorthanded tally for the Wild, who won for just the second time in their last eight games (2-5-1). Manny Fernandez allowed just one goal on 33 shots as Minnesota, normally defensive-minded, held its opponent under two goals for only the second time in 10 contests this season.
Forward Pascal Dupuis made his season debut for the Wild after finally signing a new contract over the weekend. The team's second-leading scorer last season, Dupuis logged 11:56 of ice time Tuesday and registered one shot.
On the flip side, young star Marian Gaborik remains without a deal. Both Gaborik and general manager Doug Risebrough released statements on the matter Monday, and what came out of both were that the parties don't seem very close. Gaborik said in his statement that he had left the state of Minnesota, where he had been for direct negotiation.
The Wild are unbeaten in their four (3-0-1) all-time meetings with the Thrashers, including an 0-1-1 mark against them in Minnesota.
10/30 10:54:39 ET