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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Monday, December 26th (All times eastern)

Montreal Canadiens (17-10-6) at Atlanta Thrashers (15-16-5), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Thrashers try to keep their momentum going tonight when they welcome the Montreal Canadiens to Philips Arena.

The Thrashers have won five of their last seven games, including Friday's 1-0 victory in New Jersey. Michael Garnett made 29 saves and recorded his first career shutout to anchor the effort.

Marian Hossa netted the lone goal for the Thrashers, who have four wins in their last five games.

Garnett improved to 8-7 with a 3.57 goals-against average and .879 save percentage in 20 games (17 starts) this season. Garnett has been forced into action this year due to injuries suffered by both Mike Dunham and Kari Lehtonen.

Atlanta star Ilya Kovalchuk will be back in the lineup after serving a one- game suspension for throwing a broken stick over the glass on Thursday against Washington.

The Thrashers, who are 8-7-3 on home ice, will host Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Montreal, meanwhile, has lost three of its last four games overall and eight straight on the road. On Friday the Habs dropped a 4-2 tilt in Washington to begin a year-ending five-game trek. Matt Pettinger and Alexander Ovechkin each scored late during a four-goal third period to lift the Capitals.

Former Cap Richard Zednik and Steve Begin had goals in the loss, the Canadiens' eighth in 11 outings. Cristobal Huet, filling in for the injured Jose Theodore, stopped 27 of 31 shots for Montreal.

Theodore is currently nursing a knee injury, and is doubtful for tonight.

The Canadiens will visit Tampa Bay on Wednesday.

Montreal is 2-0 against Atlanta this season, and has won six of the last seven meetings.

The Habs have won in their last four trips to Philips Arena.

12/26 10:30:13 ET

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