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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Sunday, December 21st (All times eastern)

Philadelphia Flyers (18-4-8-3) at Atlanta Thrashers (17-14-3-1), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Thrashers try to keep their offensive momentum going tonight when they host the Philadelphia Flyers at Philips Arena.

The Thrashers had been shut out in a franchise record three-straight games before clobbering the Pittsburgh Penguins, 7-4, at the Igloo on Saturday night.

Ilya Kovalchuk tallied two goals and three assists to lead Atlanta, which ended a three-game slide and picked up its first win since pounding Pittsburgh, 6-3, on December 12. Kovalchuk is second in the NHL with 40 points (20g, 20a) and trails Washington's Robert Lang by two.

Slava Kozlov scored two goals and added a pair of assists and Marc Savard collected a goal and four assists for the Thrashers.

Ronald Petrovicky started the offensive onslaught, scoring a goal just eight seconds into the first period -- the fastest tally to start a game in team history. The goal also halted Atlanta's scoreless drought at 182 minutes and 30 seconds.

Atlanta, which is 10-7-2 at home this year, has 38 points and leads Tampa Bay by five for first place in the Southeast Division.

The Flyers, meanwhile, halted a five-game winless streak with a 3-1 victory over the New York Islanders on Saturday afternoon. Jim Vandermeer scored a pair of goals to lead Philadelphia to the victory at the Wachovia Center.

Simon Gagne also scored for Philadelphia, which ended a three-game losing streak and won for the first time in six games (1-1-2-2).

Robert Esche made 18 saves in the win. It was the first action for Esche since he suffered a groin injury on December 5 against Phoenix.

The Flyers, who begin a season-long eight-game road trip tonight, have 47 points and are tied with Toronto for the best record in the NHL.

Philadelphia has won two straight meetings and is 12-1-2 in the last 15 matchups. The Flyers' latest victory over the Thrashers came on November 15 with a 4-0 blanking at the Wachovia Center.

The Flyers are also unbeaten in their last seven trips (6-0-1) to Atlanta.

12/21 10:27:32 ET

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