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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Friday, January 5th (All times eastern)

Phoenix Coyotes (17-20-2) at Atlanta Thrashers (24-12-6), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Phoenix Coyotes will attempt to maintain their excellent recent form when the surging club resumes its current road trip tonight against the Atlanta Thrashers.

Phoenix has won a season-best four consecutive games, three of which have come on the road. On Thursday, Curtis Joseph stopped 29 shots to record his second straight shutout and propel the Coyotes to a 2-0 victory over defending Stanley Cup champion Carolina in Raleigh.

Joseph's whitewash was the 49th of his career, and with the victory he passed Hall-of-Famer Jacques Plante for fifth on the all-time list with 438 wins. The 39-year-old made 40 saves in an 8-0 triumph over San Jose on Saturday.

Yanic Perreault and Ed Jovanovski had the goals for Phoenix, which has won five of six and climbed ahead of Los Angeles and out of the Pacific Division basement with Thursday's decision.

The Coyotes are just 6-12-1 on the road in 2006-07 but have won three in a row away from home. The team will be playing the third matchup of a season-long five-game swing which started with a 3-2 victory Monday at Washington.

Phoenix expects to get a test tonight from an Atlanta club that owns a strong 11-5-3 home record and has won its last three tests at Philips Arena.

The Southeast Division-leading Thrashers are back from a four-game road trip in which they went 2-2-0. The journey ended on a sour note, however, as Atlanta was handed a 5-1 defeat by Minnesota on Tuesday.

Jon Sim scored the Atlanta lone goal and Kari Lehtonen made 30 saves in defeat. The Thrashers were outshot by 35-15 margin on the night.

Atlanta heads back to the road following tonight's tilt, as the Thrashers begin a stretch of four straight away contests Saturday in Washington.

The Coyotes posted a 5-2 home win over the Thrashers in the lone meeting between these teams last season. Phoenix hasn't visited Atlanta since dropping a 1-0 decision at Philips Arena on November 23, 2003.

That victory was the Thrashers' only win in this series. Phoenix has taken eight of the 10 lifetime meetings, with the clubs also playing to one tie.

01/05 10:36:43 ET

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