NHL Preview from The Sports Network |
Wednesday, December 31st
(All times eastern)
Atlanta Thrashers (19-16-3-1) at Detroit Red Wings (22-12-4-1), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Thrashers try to end a two-game losing slide
tonight when they visit the Detroit Red Wings in a matchup of the National
Hockey League's two highest-scoring teams.
Detroit leads the league with 126 goals scored, while Atlanta is second with
Atlanta, though, has only been able to muster a total of three tallies in the
last two contests, losses to Ottawa and Montreal. On Monday the Thrashers
dropped a 2-1 home decision to the Canadiens.
Ronald Petrovicky notched his fifth goal in five games for the Thrashers, who
allowed a pair of first-period scores. Atlanta had won three straight before
its current skid.
Byron Dafoe stopped 26 shots for Bob Hartley's club, which has allowed the
same number of goals it has scored this season.
The Thrashers, with 42 points, remain six ahead of the second-place Tampa Bay
Lightning atop the Southeast Division.
Atlanta, 7-8-1-1 on the road, opens a five-game trip tonight and will visit
Montreal on Saturday.
Detroit, meanwhile, is 7-2-1-1 in its last 11 games overall, and 8-0-1 in its
last nine at home. The Wings are, however, coming off Sunday's 3-0 loss to
rookie goaltender Michael Leighton and the Chicago Blackhawks.
Leighton made 20 saves for his second shutout in three games to stymie the Red
Manny Legace made 24 saves for Detroit, which is 1-2-1 in its last four. The
Red Wings were shut out for the third time this season.
There could be some good news for the Wings on the injury front, as defenseman
Chris Chelios is close to returning from a knee injury that has kept him out
for 10 games. He is questionable for tonight's affair.
Detroit will visit Carolina on Friday.
The Red Wings have won all six meetings with the Thrashers, outscoring Atlanta
11-3 in the six games played in Motown.
12/31 10:09:31 ET