Thrashers: Giving up goals 'deflating'

DALLAS -- It has happened with too great a frequency this season.

The Thrashers have allowed consecutive goals in two minutes or less a whopping 16 times in 12 games this season -- including in each of the past three games. Having played 46 games before Saturday’s contest against Dallas, that’s 26.1 percent of the games.

It gets worse.

Four times they have allowed two consecutive goals in 35 seconds or less, including Friday against Philadelphia.

"It's deflating," Thrashers forward Chris Thorburn said.

In last week’s game against Toronto, the Thrashers allowed two goals in less than two minutes five times.

Against the Flyers, the Thrashers scored first with Andrew Ladd's second-period goal. That lead lasted all of 37 seconds before Jody Shelley scored. Just 21 seconds later, Kimmo Timonen gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead.

"We tend to get shocked when we get scored on," Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said. "Now we are either going to go get it back immediately, which leads to confusion, or we feel sorry for ourselves and back up. Neither one is good.

"You need to have a line that goes out there, takes the puck in the offensive zone and keeps it. You need to change the tempo right then and there. That’s an important growth concept for our whole team.”

Facing Lehtonen

Kari Lehtonen is making the most of his fresh start.

The former Thrashers goaltender, the No. 2 overall pick by the franchise in 2002, was traded to Dallas last season after he finally recovered from two back surgeries. In May, the Stars signed him to a three-year, $10.65 million extension. He has been solid in net this season for the Pacific Division leaders. He entered Saturday’s game against his former mates with an 18-10-5 record, a 2.59 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage.

Lehtonen was unavailable Saturday, as he does not speak to the media on game days. He told espndallas.com Friday that he was looking forward to the game.

“It’s going to be special,” Lehtonen told the website. “I still have to go back there [Atlanta], but it is going to be exciting. It’s an important game, too. I have to do the same things I always do, stop pucks and keep them out of the net.”

Lehtonen was traded Feb. 9 for defensive prospect Ivan Vishnevskiy (since traded) and a fourth-round draft pick.

In 204 games with the Thrashers, Lehtonen had a 94-83-17 record with 14 shutouts, a 2.87 GAA and a .912 save percentage. The games played, wins, shutouts and save percentage are franchise records for a goaltender.

Etc.

  • Injured forwards Jim Slater (concussion) and Fredrik Modin (mid-body) did not make the two-game road trip. Ben Eager (suspension) did travel with the team.
  • Chris Mason was in goal Saturday, his first start since Dec. 31. Ondrej Pavelec is scheduled to start Monday at Florida.