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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, February 19th (All times eastern)

Atlanta Thrashers (21-32-5) at Phoenix Coyotes (25-28-5), 9 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Thrashers seek their first-ever win in Phoenix tonight, when the red-hot club visits the Coyotes and Jobing.com Arena.

Phoenix is one of four cities that the Thrashers have never posted a victory in. Atlanta is 0-5 with a tie in its six trips there and is also just 1-9 with a tie all-time versus the Coyotes.

Atlanta, which entered the league prior to the 1999-2000 season, has been outscored 21-9 in Phoenix and will visit the city for the first time since a 5-2 setback on December 5, 2005.

The Thrashers, who have also never won in Minnesota, San Jose or Calgary, enter this contest with a sizzling offense, however. They have scored 15 goals over their last two games, notching an 8-4 win over Anaheim in the opener of a four-game road trip on Sunday before a 7-6 shootout win over Los Angeles the following night.

Ilya Kovalchuk has been at the front of this scoring barrage. He notched a hat trick in the win over the Ducks and followed that up with a two-goal, one- assist performance against the Kings. He has scored in five straight contests, notching eight tallies in that span along with three assists.

Erik Christensen's goal in the fourth round of a shootout lifted Atlanta to Monday's win, while Bryan Little, Todd White and Marty Reasoner each had a goal and an assist in regulation. Johan Hedberg made 39 saves in leading Atlanta to its fourth straight win on the road.

Slava Kozlov notched two assists, the 800th and 801st points of his career, and has two goals and five helpers over a five-game point streak.

Atlanta, which is still just 14th in the Eastern Conference, will wrap up its longest road trip of the season on Saturday versus the San Jose Sharks and is 12-15-3 as the guest this year.

While the Thrashers are streaking on the road, the Coyotes enter this contest having lost six straight as the home club. Phoenix, which hasn't won as the host since January 20 versus Detroit, is 0-3 so far on a four-game residency that ends tonight.

The Coyotes went winless on a three-game series against teams from Western Canada, falling to Vancouver, Calgary and most recently, Edmonton. Ed Jovanovski was the lone goal scorer for Phoenix in its 3-1 loss to the Oilers on Monday.

Mikael Tellqvist faced 28 shots and allowed two goals in taking the loss, the Coyotes' third straight and ninth in 10 games. With 55 points, Phoenix is now tied with St. Louis and Colorado for the fewest in the West.

The Coyotes' six straight setbacks at home has dropped its season record at Jobing.com Arena to 16-12-2. The club next hits the road for three straight, starting in Los Angeles on Saturday.

02/19 10:53:33 ET


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