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Thursday, December 10th (All times eastern)

Atlanta Thrashers (15-10-3) at Vancouver Canucks (16-14-0), 10 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Vancouver Canucks begin a season-long eight-game homestand tonight with a visit by the Atlanta Thrashers to GM Place.

The extended stay could help the Canucks make up some ground in the Northwest Division. They are 10-4-0 at home this year and are eight points back of second-place Colorado in the standings.

Vancouver returns home after a 2-2-0 road trip. It won the first two contests of the swing before dropping the final two, including Tuesday's 4-2 setback in Nashville. Three days after Carolina's Erik Cole notched a hat trick in the Hurricanes' 5-3 defeat of Vancouver, the Predators' Martin Erat tallied three goals to hand the Canucks a loss that dropped them to 6-10-0 on the road.

Ryan Kesler, who came into the game with 12 assists in 14 games, notched his first goal since November 1 for the Canucks, while Daniel Sedin also scored. Henrik Sedin notched his fourth straight two-assist game, while Roberto Luongo ended with 22 saves.

"It'll be nice to be home," said Vancouver's Tanner Glass on the team's official Web site. "We know what the schedule is like this year with a lot of extended road trips, so we've got to make some hay on these homestands and it'll be nice to be home for a while."

The Thrashers wrap a four-game road trip tonight and after winning the first contest of the swing in Florida, they have dropped two straight in Canada. Atlanta was dealt a 5-2 loss by Toronto on Monday before last night's 3-1 setback to Calgary.

Colby Armstrong provided the lone tally for the Thrashers, who have lost two in a row and three of four since a four-game win streak. Johan Hedberg was solid in defeat, yielding just two goals on 31 shots.

"We're just one of those teams that like to make the perfect play, and sometimes it's not there," said Atlanta head coach John Anderson.

The Thrashers fell to 9-4-1 as the guest this year.

Atlanta's Evander Kane hopes to return to the lineup tonight after missing Wednesday's game due to illness. The Vancouver-born fourth overall pick of the 2009 draft has eight goals and five assists this season.

Atlanta won the last meeting between these clubs, a 4-3 shootout tally at home on January 2, but the Canucks were a 3-2 winner the last time the teams met in Vancouver on February 10, 2007.

12/10 10:28:45 ET


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