4 - 3 Final - OT
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Byfuglien's overtime goal lifts Thrashers past Habs

Jan 2, 2011 - 9:59 PM
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Dustin Byfuglien's power-play goal with 1:17 left in overtime lifted Atlanta over Montreal, 4-3, at Bell Centre.

The Thrashers found themselves on the advantage during extra time after a P.K. Subban hooking penalty. Atlanta patiently worked the puck during most of the power play and finally Byfuglien found an open slot from the left circle to rip a shot past Canadiens goaltender Carey Price.

"I aim for the back of the net and hope it goes in," Byfuglien said of his game-winner. "Needless to say everyone was relieved when it did."

Evander Kane notched a goal and an assist while Tobias Enstrom registered three assists for the Thrashers, who won for just the second time in their last seven games (2-4-1).

Andrew Ladd and Rich Peverley each tallied a goal for the victors, while Ondrej Pavelec made 47 saves.

Brian Gionta's third-period goal sent the game into overtime, however, the Canadiens still lost for the fourth time in their last five outings. Tomas Plekanec and Subban each notched goals in defeat.

"We did some good things in this game," Gionta said. "But a couple of mistakes, a couple of breakdowns led to goals. Overall, considering where we've been the last couple of weeks, it was a pretty good effort. It was a pretty good effort getting one point out of it."

Price surrendered four goals on 28 shots in the losing effort.

Atlanta struck first with Peverley's goal 6:20 into the game. Enstrom fed a streaking Peverley near the left boards. He then deked past a Habs defenseman and slipped a forehand shot under Price's left leg.

Plekanec got Montreal on the board with 2:04 left in the first on the power play when he raced for a breakaway goal after receiving a quick pass from newly-acquired James Wisniewski.

Atlanta regained the lead in the early minutes of the second period thanks to a quick carom off the back boards. Patrice Cormier ripped a wrister from close in and Price blocked the initial shot, but Kane was able to stuff the rebound home after falling to the ice in heavy traffic.

The score was knotted, once again, midway through the middle frame after Subban hammered a slap shot into the back of the net on a power play.

With only 16 seconds remaining in the same period, Ladd gave Atlanta a 3-2 edge. Enstrom carried the puck around the net, held it for a split second and threw the puck toward the net. Ladd redirected the shot from the far side past the Montreal netminder.

Montreal tied the game for a third time with 4:47 left to play in regulation. Max Pacioretty rifled a shot from the right point and Gionta was at the right place at the right time to bang home the rebound from the left slot.

Game Notes

Before the game, the Thrashers activated forward Nik Antropov from injured reserve and reassigned center Tim Stapleton to the Chicago Wolves (AHL)...Both teams were successful on the power play, with Montreal scoring two goals on three advantages. Atlanta finished 1-for-2 on the power play...Cormier posted his first NHL career point...Wisniewski tallied his 100th and 101st career assists in the loss.