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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, January 20th (All times eastern)

Atlanta Thrashers (26-15-8) at New York Rangers (23-20-4), 1 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Southeast Division-leading Atlanta Thrashers aim for their third win in four games this afternoon, when they visit the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

The Thrashers had won back-to-back contests before losing to visiting Montreal on Thursday. Cristobal Huet continued his dominance of Atlanta this season, turning aside 44 shots as the Canadiens eased past the Thrashers, 4-1. In three games against Atlanta, each of which were Canadien victories, Huet has been stellar, stopping 111-of-115 shots faced.

Bobby Holik scored the lone goal and Kari Lehtonen ended with 29 saves for the Thrashers, who have dropped six of their last eight games. Atlanta still leads the Southeast by five points over Carolina.

The Rangers last played Tuesday in New Jersey and were handed a 1-0 loss by Martin Brodeur and the Devils. Brodeur made 26 saves for his 88th career shutout, while Henrik Lundqvist stopped 31-of-32 shots for New York.

The Blueshirts are second in the Atlantic Division with 50 points, but trail the Devils by 11 for the top spot. Also, the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins are each two points behind the Rangers

Today's game features three of the NHL's top-five scorers over the last four seasons. Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk (154 goals) leads the list, teammate Marian Hossa (149) is second and the Rangers' Jaromir Jagr (138) is third. Jarome Iginla (134) of Calgary and Ottawa's Dany Heatley (132) round out the top- five.

The Rangers and Thrashers have split two meetings this year and New York has taken four of the last seven encounters.

After today's game, both the Rangers and Thrashers will head into the All-Star break. New York will play again next Saturday in Philadelphia, while Atlanta begins a six-game homestand Friday against the Islanders.

01/20 10:40:03 ET


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