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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Wednesday, January 14th (All times eastern)

Montreal Canadiens (22-16-5-2) at Atlanta Thrashers (19-19-4-2), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Montreal Canadiens seek their third consecutive victory tonight when they visit the slumping Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena.

Montreal has defeated Pittsburgh and St. Louis by a combined score of 13-2 during its spurt, and is 6-1-1 in the last eight games overall. On Tuesday, Mike Ribeiro and Jan Bulis each had a goal and an assist to lead the Canadiens to a 5-2 victory over the Blues at Bell Centre.

Richard Zednik, Michael Ryder and Craig Rivet also scored for the Canadiens, who netted four unanswered goals to erase a 1-0 deficit. Mathieu Garon made 16 saves.

Defenseman Sheldon Souray was held off the scoresheet after his record effort in Saturday's 8-0 pounding of Pittsburgh. He collected a goal and five assists, thus establishing a Habs mark for points by a blueliner in one game. Souray, who missed most of the last two seasons due to a career- threatening wrist injury, leads NHL defenders with 14 goals and is tied for third with 32 points.

The Canadiens, 2-0-1 in their last three away games, will host the NY Rangers on Saturday.

Atlanta, meanwhile, is winless in its last seven contests (0-5-1-1), but did end a six-game losing streak with a 1-1 tie in Phoenix on Sunday. Randy Robitaille scored at 6:16 of the first period to put the Thrashers on the board and end Coyote goaltender Brian Boucher's NHL-record shutout streak.

Byron Dafoe stopped 40 shots for Atlanta, which completed a five-game road trip at 0-3-1-1. The Thrashers haven't won since December 26 against Tampa Bay.

Atlanta's slide has dropped the club from its perch atop the Southeast Division. With 44 points, the Thrashers are three points behind the Lightning in the race.

Bob Hartley's club, which is 12-8-2 at Philips Arena, will host Carolina on Friday to kick off a home-and-home.

Montreal has swept two games from Atlanta so far this season, and is 7-2-1 in the last 10 meetings. The Habs have won in their last two trips to Georgia.

01/14 10:15:57 ET

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