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Saturday, January 3rd (All times eastern)

Atlanta Thrashers (19-16-3-2) at Montreal Canadiens (17-15-5-2), 2 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Thrashers try to end a three-game skid today when they visit the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre.

Atlanta has lost six of its last nine overall, and is coming off Wednesday's 6-5 loss to Detroit in a matchup of the league's two highest-scoring teams. Henrik Zetterberg's second goal of the game 2:24 into overtime lifted the Red Wings.

Ilya Kovalchuk posted a goal and two assists for Atlanta, which remains atop the Southeast Division with 43 points -- six ahead of Tampa Bay. Zdenek Blatny, Ronald Petrovicky, Slava Kozlov and Daniel Tjarnqvist each lit the lamp for the Thrashers. Pasi Nurminen was peppered with 44 shots and stopped 38 of them.

Kovalchuk's 22 goals are second in the NHL -- one behind Columbus' Rick Nash -- and he has tallied five times in the last six contests after an eight-game drought.

Atlanta plays the second of a five-game swing today and will visit Dallas on Thursday.

Montreal, meanwhile, begins a four-game home set this afternoon. On Wednesday, Niklas Sundstrom scored the equalizer for Montreal with a minute remaining in the contest, as the Canadiens and Dallas Stars skated to a 1-1 tie at AmericanAirlines Center.

Jose Theodore stopped 19 of the 20 shots he faced, as Montreal earned at least a point for the third straight contest (1-0-1-1).

On the injury front, Habs captain Saku Koivu missed Wednesday's tilt due to a concussion suffered on Monday against Atlanta. He is expected to be a game- time decision today.

Montreal will host Washington on Sunday.

The Canadiens defeated the Thrashers, 2-1, in Atlanta last Monday and are 6-2-1 in the last nine meetings. Atlanta is only 2-6-0 all-time in Montreal.

01/03 10:34:07 ET


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