NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, February 26th (All times eastern)
Atlanta Thrashers (29-30-4) at Montreal Canadiens (33-21-9), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A pair of teams currently going through winless stretches will face off tonight at Montreal's Bell Centre, where the Canadiens continue a homestand against an Atlanta Thrashers club riding a three-game losing streak.
Montreal's season-long struggles on home ice have continued during the squad's current four-game stretch. After beginning the residency with a thrilling comeback win over the New York Rangers a week ago, the Habs suffered a one- goal setback to Pittsburgh on Thursday before Saturday's shutout loss to Columbus.
The Blue Jackets' Pascal Leclaire made 31 saves to register his league-leading ninth shutout of the season and Columbus scored two first-period goals en route to a 3-0 decision.
Montreal fell to a mediocre 14-12-5 at the Bell Centre this season with the back-to-back losses, which came on the heels of a four-game win streak. Despite those two defeats, the Canadiens are just three points back of slumping Ottawa for first place in the Northeast Division.
Atlanta was tied for the top spot in the Southeast Division prior to its three-game skid, but now finds itself in fourth place in the competitive grouping and seven points behind front-running Carolina.
The Thrashers' latest loss came Saturday in Toronto, where Alex Steen and Nik Antropov each scored in the third period to lift the Maple Leafs to a 3-1 triumph.
Mark Recchi had Atlanta's lone goal and Kari Lehtonen stopped 22 shots in defeat.
The Thrashers will be concluding a five-game road trip tonight and are 13-16-2 as the visitor this season. Atlanta started the trek with a shootout win at New Jersey on February 15 but has since come up short in visits to the New York Islanders, Carolina and Toronto.
Atlanta has lost six of its last eight on the road.
The Thrashers did emerge victorious in their only trip to the Bell Centre this year, posting a 3-2 shootout win over the Habs on October 30. All three 2007-08 meetings between these clubs have been decided in shootouts, with Atlanta taking two of those tests.
02/26 10:35:33 ET