NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, December 6th
(All times eastern)
Nashville Predators (12-8-5) at Atlanta Thrashers (14-10-3), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - After failing to record the longest winning streak in club
history, the Thrashers avoided a losing streak by knocking off one of the top
teams in the NHL.
Atlanta, winners in seven of its last eight games, now turns its focus to the
Nashville Predators, who seek a season-best fourth straight victory in this
evening's clash at Philips Arena.
The Thrashers carried a franchise record-tying six-game winning streak into
Thursday's meeting with the streaking Penguins, but lost a close 3-2 decision.
They then had to travel to Washington to face the mighty Capitals, but avoided
losing two in a row for the first time since mid-November by recording a 3-1
triumph over the Capitals.
Andrew Ladd and Rich Peverley both had a goal and an assist and Ondrej Pavelec
made 45 saves in the victory. The 23-year-old Pavelec has a 1.12 goals-against
average over Atlanta's last eight games and improved to 8-5-2 with a 1.70 GAA
on the season.
"Our goaltender has been really good lately," said Atlanta head coach Craig
Ramsay. "He gave us the chance and we were able to fight back hard and get the
Pavelec has never faced Nashville before and is likely to square off against
another young goaltender tonight in 22-year Anders Lindback, who made his
first start since Nov. 7 on Saturday and posted 28 saves to guide the
Predators to a 5-2 victory over the Hurricanes.
Lindback, who picked up his first victory since Oct. 24, is expected to get
the bulk of the work in net with No. 1 goaltender Pekka Rinne out 2-to-4 weeks
with a left knee injury. The rookie improved to 4-1-1 with a 2.68 GAA on the
year and was backed by first-period goals from Shea Weber, Marcel Goc and
"I thought we got off to a good start," said Nashville head coach Barry Trotz.
"I thought we executed pretty well and had some nice goals. When you score a
couple goals in the first [period] it obviously gives you a little
Cal O'Reilly and Steve Sullivan added third-period goals for insurance as the
Preds won three straight for the first time since opening the season 3-0.
Martin Erat added three assists to give him five in his last two games.
Nashville won both meetings last year with Atlanta and has taken four of the
last five matchups in this series, one in which nine of the last 13 meetings
have been decided by one goal or less.
The Predators have also won two straight at Philips Arena, where Atlanta has
won each of its last five games. However, the Thrashers will likely try to
extend that run tonight without Evander Kane, who has missed the last two
games with a knee injury.
12/06 10:40:56 ET