NHL Preview from The Sports Network |
Saturday, October 18th
(All times eastern)
Chicago Blackhawks (1-3-0-0) at Atlanta Thrashers (2-0-2-0), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Thrashers try to remain unbeaten tonight when
they invite the Chicago Blackhawks to Philips Arena.
Atlanta opened with consecutive victories over Columbus and Washington, and
has followed up with successive ties versus the NY Islanders and Rangers. Mike
Dunham turned aside 30 shots and Pasi Nurminen made 29 saves, as the Rangers
and Thrashers skated to a 0-0 deadlock at Madison Square Garden Thursday.
Nurminen matched Dunham all evening for Atlanta, making 10 stops in the first
period, three in the second, 10 in the third and six in the extra session.
Atlanta, however, failed to capitalize with a two-man advantage early in the
third period. Ilya Kovalchuk had the best chance during the power play, but
his shot from the left circle was stopped by Dunham, who squeezed the puck
between his arm and pad.
Kovalchuk had his three-game points streak to start the season halted, as he
had managed two goals and two assists in the first three outings.
Atlanta will head to the road and visit Tampa on Tuesday.
Chicago, meanwhile, has dropped three straight since opening with an
encouraging victory over Minnesota. On Thursday, Rick Nash registered a goal
and an assist to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 2-1 win over the
Blackhawks at Nationwide Arena.
Brett McLean tallied the lone goal for the Blackhawks, who have scored just
four times in as many games on the young season.
Injury woes also hit the Hawks, already without captain Alexei Zhamnov due to
back surgery, yet again. Winger Eric Daze returned to Chicago on Thursday to
have his own back examined and he missed the loss to the Jackets. Daze has
already had two back surgeries in the last three years.
The Hawks will head back home after tonight, welcoming Nashville on Saturday.
Chicago has won four of the five all-time meetings with Atlanta, and outscored
the Thrashers 9-1 in the last three combined. The Blackhawks are 2-1 at
10/18 10:14:38 ET