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Live Blogging: Atlanta versus Boston

This is the most jazzed I've been about a regular season game since perhaps the Ottawa game where Hossa and Heatley faced their old teams. I know that not all of you get Versus games so I'll summarize the key plays as the game goes along.

The two new guys start. Zhitnik begins with Exelby. Tkachuk misses a pass.

1-0 Boston. Holik lost the faceoff cleanly. Leads to a point shot and rebound goes into the slot. Donovan eludes Exelby gets to the puck, backs up into the slot and fires it past Lehtonen.

Exelby jumps up on offense, Boston transitions well putting pressure on de Vries and Boulton who takes a penalty trying to come back into Exelby's spot on the blueline. Good PK, Larsen uses a hand pass to get a clear. Boston not allowed to set up at all on the PP. Vigier with a clear too.

Havelid clear nearly picked off inside the defensive zone.

Exelby pinches again to dish out a hit. Maybe he's just really jacked up and playing with a lot of emotion. I worry about him getting caught out of positon.

Off line pass ruins rush by Kovalchuk. Zhitnik makes a great defensive block to stop 2-on-1 after Havelid caught pinching up.

Big hit by Tkachuk, some confusion on the breakout. You can tell they haven't had much practice time together. Point blank SOG by Boston save Kari.

Great pressure by the Hossa line leads to a decent SOG by Tkachuk who came on for Belanger.
Tkachuk wins face off cleanly, De Vries hit the post.
Exelby with another bad turnover. Rough 1st period for the X-man, he needs to settle down.

X and de Vries pinch to create pressure, BOS takes a penalty, Atlanta PP coming up...
Tkachuk carries into corner and makes a sweet feed to the slot that is just tipped away.
Goal!!! 1-1 Point shot by Havelid deflects and goes into the net.

2-1 Boston. 3-0n-3 play, Kovalchuk's man shots and Havelid blocks it. The puck goes to the top of the circle but Ilya doesn't stay with him. He's high along the boards and shoots--goal. It may have been defected in front, hard to tell on the replay.
End of 1st.

2-2 Atlanta PP Goal. de Vries in the corner centers the puck to Belanger with Mellanby screening in front. (not really sure why de Vries went in so deep, all the D seem to be pinching much more aggressively this game. Is that emotion or a coaching strategy?)

Terrific pressure by Hossa line. Exelby pinched on his side, this de Vries on the other, de Vries centered to Hossa who had all day to shoot. He tried to backhand side but didn't convert.

Exelby may have just saved a goal by pushing a puck sliding toward the line back into Lehtonen's pads.

Kari just robbed Axelsson on a point blank chance. Holik misread the play leaving Axelsson wide open.

Kovy tried to skate away from Marc Savard but he matched him stride for stride.
Sim drove low and centered but no one was home in the slot.
PP: Great pressure but Mellanby fails to covert too good opportunities.

Savard clears over the ice with 2 seconds left. ATL will start 3rd on the PP.
End of 2nd.
PP never really gets going. Larsen takes a marginal call, PP for Boston. Solid PK, Hossa and Kozlov very close to getting a prime scoring chance.

Boston's Ference hits the post. Sim with a hit.

3-2 Atlanta. Belanger drops the chalupa to Hossa and then screens the goalie. Hossa fires and I'm not sure if Thomas ever saw it until it was behind him.

Tkachuk drop pass to Kovalchuk, but he waits too long and his shot is blocked.

Kovalchuk with a great SOG but Holik goalie interference, so BOS PP.
Our PK looks sooooo much better in this game. Kari still looks shaky to me.

Mara shoots it over the glass PP ATL. (See, this happens to other teams too!) Kovalchuk drives right down the slot. ATL on the PP for almost all of the remaining time in regulation.

The Thrashers failed to clear several times in the final 30 seconds but it didn't hurt and they escape with 3-2 win. Woohoo! Right behind.

Good night everyone. I should have a breakdown of the Tkachuk trade up Tuesday.