NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, November 2nd (All times eastern)
San Jose Sharks (2-5-4-0) at Atlanta Thrashers (5-3-2-1), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Thrashers try and stop their first losing streak of the season tonight when they welcome the San Jose Sharks to Philips Arena.
Atlanta suffered their second consecutive loss on Friday when it found itself on the wrong end of a 2-1 decision against the Washington Capitals. Slava Kozlov scored his third goal of the year and Pasi Nurminen stopped 36- of-38 shots, but the Thrashers fell for the third time in four games.
Ilya Kovalchuk, who has been asked to carry the scoring burden in the absence of Dany Heatley, assisted on Kozlov's goal and extended his point scoring streak to seven games. He leads the league with 11 goals and his 17 points are one better than Colorado's Peter Forsberg for the NHL lead. Over his last seven games the 20-year-old Russian sniper has tallied nine goals and four assists.
Marc Savard is also riding a seven-game point streak with four tallies and eight assists in that span. The line of Kovalchuk, Savard and Kozlov have accounted for 19 of the Thrashers' 29 goals this season.
Following tonight's game Atlanta will start a three-game road trip that includes stops in Buffalo, Columbus and in New York, where they will close out the trek against the Islanders.
The Thrashers are 3-1-1 at home this season.
San Jose, meanwhile, enters tonight's contest on a rare winning note after Alyn McCauley posted his first career hat trick in the Sharks' 6-2 win over Florida at the Office Depot Center on Saturday.
Jonathan Cheechoo delivered two goals for San Jose, which won for the first time in eight games (1-3-4). Patrick Marleau also scored, while Marco Sturm and Scott Thornton both posted two assists.
Evgeni Nabokov turned away 27 of 29 shots to snap a personal 15-game winless streak (0-8-6-1) for San Jose, which built a 3-0 edge in the first period.
Tonight's contest is the fourth installment of a seven-game road trip for San Jose, which is 2-3-1 away from home this season. The Sharks, 1-1-1 thus far on the stretch, will close the trip with visits to New Jersey, Boston and Washington.
San Jose is 4-1-1 all-time against Atlanta, including a 2-1 mark in Dixie.
11/02 10:46:45 ET