NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, November 2nd (All times eastern)
Florida Panthers (4-5-1) at Atlanta Thrashers (2-7-2), 5 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Both the Panthers and Thrashers have had trouble scoring goals as of late. The two slumping clubs will clash this evening, as Atlanta hosts Florida at Philips Arena.
The Thrashers have lost six straight contests for the first time since dropping eight in a row from February 16-March 5 of last season. Each of the last five setbacks for Atlanta have come in regulation, including yesterday's 6-1 loss to New Jersey.
Slava Kozlov scored in his second straight game and for the third time in four contests, and Colby Armstrong and Marty Reasoner had assists for the Thrashers, who are just 2-7-2 on the season.
Johan Hedberg started in net for Atlanta and turned aside 20 shots in two periods of work. Ondrej Pavelec, recalled from Chicago of the American Hockey League before the game due to netminder Kari Lehtonen battling flu-like symptoms, made six saves in the third period.
The Thrashers have been outscored 16-3 in their last three games and are winless on the road (0-4-2) this season. However, starting tonight Atlanta plays back-to-back tests at Philips Arena, where it is 2-3-0 this year.
The Panthers have lost three in a row and have scored just three times over that skid. Florida is averaging just 2.20 goals per game, 28th in the league and ahead of only Edmonton and Tampa Bay.
Most of that output came in Saturday's 3-2 shootout loss to Nashville. Martin Erat beat Florida netminder Craig Anderson in the extra session, and Rostislav Olesz failed to extend the shootout, as his backhander was stopped.
Karlis Skrastins and Olesz scored for the Panthers, who began a five-game road trip with yesterday's loss and are just 1-3-1 as the visiting club this season.
Anderson was solid in his third start and fourth appearance of the season, making 30 saves. Tomas Vokoun has made seven starts for Florida this year, going 3-4-0 with a 2.69 goals against average.
Vokoun made 31 saves in an overtime win over the Thrashers on October 11, with David Booth netting the game-winning tally.
That win was Florida's sixth win in its last seven games versus Atlanta, which has lost three in a row as the host to the Panthers after winning 11 straight at home over the club.
11/02 10:24:41 ET