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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, December 16th (All times eastern)

Atlanta Thrashers (9-16-4) at Ottawa Senators (11-12-5), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - A battle between last-place teams is on tap tonight in Canada's capital city, as the Ottawa Senators welcome the Atlanta Thrashers to Scotiabank Place.

The Senators have 27 points and are currently last in the Northeast Division, while the Thrashers have 22 points and are the bottom team in the Southeast Division as well as tied for last in the Eastern Conference.

Ottawa was able to secure a victory its last time out, as it posted a shutout over the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday. Martin Gerber stopped all 24 shots for his first shutout of the season and the Senators recorded the 2-0 decision.

Gerber has 10 shutouts in his career and is now 2-5-1 on the season.

Alexander Picard and Daniel Alfredsson each lit the lamp for the Senators, who snapped a three-game skid and improved to 3-2-1 in December.

Ottawa has won five of its last six home tests and is 8-5-3 at Scotiabank Place this year. Beginning with Friday's test in New Jersey, the Sens will play nine of their next 10 games on the road.

The Thrashers have been simply awful since tying a club record with a five- game winning streak from November 2-14. However, in the 13 games since that hot stretch, Atlanta has managed just a 2-9-2 record and has lost three straight and eight of its last nine games.

Atlanta's two most recent setbacks came in a home-and-home sweep at the hands of the Boston Bruins. After dropping Friday's home portion by a 7-3 count, the Thrashers were defeated, 4-2, in Boston the following day. Phil Kessel extended his point streak to 15 games with a goal and an assist and led the Bruins to the win at TD Banknorth Garden.

Nathan Oystrick had a goal and an assist while Marty Reasoner also scored for the Thrashers. Johan Hedberg made 25 saves in the loss.

Atlanta has lost five of its last six on the road and has a dreadful 4-9-2 record as the visiting club this year. Next up for the Thrashers is a three- game homestand that begins with Thursday's test against Pittsburgh.

Ottawa posted a 5-1 victory over the visiting Thrashers on December 3 and has won four of the last five meetings between the clubs. Atlanta has lost four straight, five of six and eight of its last 11 games at Scotiabank Place.

12/16 10:55:14 ET


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