NHL Preview from The Sports Network |
Friday, December 30th
(All times eastern)
Atlanta Thrashers (16-16-6) at Buffalo Sabres (25-11-2), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Rookie Atlanta goaltender Kari Lehtonen makes his return to
the net tonight when the Thrashers visit the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena.
Lehtonen, the second-overall pick in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, has been
limited to only one period of action this season due to a groin injury.
Lehtonen will give fellow rookie Michael Garnett a rest, as he has started 16
Atlanta had a two-game winning streak halted in Wednesday's 4-3 overtime loss
to Philadelphia. Sami Kapanen scored the game-winning goal just 13 seconds
into OT to lift the Flyers.
Niclas Havelid, Eric Boulton and Andy Sutton all netted goals for the
Thrashers, who are 6-0-3 in their last nine games. Garnett, who had posted
back-to-back shutouts heading into the contest, allowed four goals on 32 shots
The Thrashers, who are 7-9-2 on the road, will visit Washington on Sunday.
Buffalo, meanwhile, had a two-game winning streak ended in Thursday's 4-3
shootout loss in Toronto. Alexei Ponikarovsky and Mats Sundin each scored in
the shootout to lift the Maple Leafs.
Tim Connolly had a goal and two assists for the Sabres, who had a two-game win
streak halted and lost for just the second time in 11 contests. Buffalo fell
to 17-2-2 in its last 21 games.
Martin Biron finished with 25 saves in defeat, losing his second straight
start on the heels of a 13-start winning streak.
Buffalo, which is 12-5-1 at HSBC Arena, opens a six-game homestand tonight and
will host Florida on Sunday.
The Sabres and Thrashers split four meetings during the 2003-04 season.
12/30 10:53:24 ET