Thrashers vs. Maple Leafs Preview
The Thrashers look to carry the momentum from their highest scoring output of the season Monday when they visit the Maple Leafs.
Eric Boulton's first hat trick in his 10-year career highlighted Atlanta's 7-1 rout of New Jersey on Saturday night.
According to nhl odds and oddsmakers from online sports book SBGGlobal.com have made the Thrashers -114 money line favorites for Monday's game against the Maple Leafs. Current NHL Public Betting Information shows that 79% of more than 475 bets for this game have been placed on the Thrashers -114.
The Thrashers (18-11-5) improved to 11-2-2 in their last 15 games. After finishing 10th in the Eastern Conference with 83 points in 2009-10, Atlanta is jockeying for the Southeast Division lead as the season nears its midpoint.
"Our goal is to be in first place," Boulton said. "We need to keep moving here and building points."
The Thrashers have outscored the opposition by 25 goals during their 15-game hot streak.
"It's about expecting to win," said Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay. "It's a long season, but our players now go into games expecting to win, they expect to play well and they're pushing each other to participate.
"We're getting goals from all our lines, play from all our lines, so everybody feels a part of it."
Andrew Ladd and Evander Kane each tallied their 11th goal of the season, matching Dustin Byfuglien for the team lead. Kane also had an assist, giving him four points in his last two games.
Ondrej Pavelec made 26 saves Saturday and improved to 10-2-1 with a 1.44 goals-against average over his last 13 games. His 1.76 GAA on the season is the second-lowest in the league.
Nik Antropov, who had an assist versus the Devils, spent eight-plus years with the Leafs and had a goal and an assist in the last meeting with his former team, a 3-2 Thrashers road victory March 30.
Toronto (12-16-4), which ranks 28th in the NHL with 2.19 goals per game, fell to 1-15-2 when scoring two or fewer after its 4-1 loss in Vancouver on Saturday night.
"At the end of the day only one line scored again," Leafs coach Ron Wilson said. "Other guys have got to do what they are paid to do which is score."
Jonas Gustavsson made 25 saves but fell to 1-5-1 with a 3.71 GAA in his last seven starts. He is likely to remain in goal Monday, as Jean-Sebastien Giguere is sidelined indefinitely with a groin injury.
Gustavsson is 1-1-0 with a 2.01 GAA against Atlanta.
Mikhail Grabovski provided Toronto's only offense Saturday. He's scored a goal in three straight games, and has six in his last seven contests.
"He's easily our best player (right now) and he works probably the hardest at practice," Wilson said. "All the work he's put in shooting the puck before and after practice is really starting to payoff."
Phil Kessel, the Maple Leafs' leader with 12 goals, failed to record a point against the Thrashers in March - snapping a personal six-game point streak versus Atlanta.