NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, March 2nd
(All times eastern)
Atlanta Thrashers (29-31-6) at Pittsburgh Penguins (36-23-7), 3 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Penguins will have to wait a little while longer for
Marian Hossa to make his home debut. Hossa will also miss a chance to face his
former team this afternoon, as Pittsburgh hosts the Atlanta Thrashers at
Unable to sign the forward to a contract extension, the Thrashers traded Hossa
to Pittsburgh on Tuesday prior to the trade deadline along with forward Pascal
Dupuis in exchange for forwards Colby Armstrong and Erik Christensen, prospect
Angelo Esposito and a 2008 first-round pick.
Hossa netted 26 goals and 30 assists in 60 games with Atlanta before the
trade, then injured his left knee in his Pittsburgh debut on Thursday. He
suffered an MCL strain following a knee-on-knee collision with Boston's Glen
Murray in the second period, but is expected to miss just a week of action.
The Penguins are also still without captain Sidney Crosby, who hasn't played
since January 18 due to a high right ankle sprain.
Without Hossa and Crosby on Saturday Evgeni Malkin extended his lead for most
points in the NHL, but the Penguins still lost to Ottawa, 5-4. Malkin posted a
goal and two assists to give 87 points on the season off 37 goals and 50
Ryan Malone added two goals and Petr Sykora chipped in with a goal and an
assist for the Penguins, who have dropped four of their last five games and
are one point back of New Jersey for the lead in the Atlantic Division.
Pittsburgh is also a point shy of Ottawa for the fourth seed in the East.
Ty Conklin stopped 25 shots in the loss for Pittsburgh.
The Penguins are 18-10-5 at home this year and have dropped three of their
last four at Mellon Arena. The club hits the road for three straight following
Atlanta hasn't had much success since trading Hossa, as it has dropped all
three games since the trade deadline and six in a row overall. That has the
Thrashers nine points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.
On Saturday, Phil Kessel scored the only goal of the shootout, and Tim Thomas
made 26 saves as the Boston Bruins rallied past the Thrashers, 3-2.
Kessel, skating in the second round of the shootout, raced up the ice, pulled
to the left and tucked the puck under the leg of a sliding Johan Hedberg.
Thomas was perfect at the other end, denying Slava Kozlov, Erik Christensen
and Ilya Kovalchuk in succession.
Kovalchuk scored his 42nd goal of the season, second most in the NHL, and Jim
Slater also tallied for the Thrashers, who have also lost five in a row on the
road. Hedberg turned aside 33 shots in defeat.
Atlanta is 13-17-3 on the road this season.
The Thrashers are 2-1-0 against the Penguins this year, though they were
shelled 5-0 when the clubs met in Pittsburgh on November 24. Atlanta has won
four of six and seven of its last 10 against the Pens, but has lost two
straight and four of its last seven in the Steel City.
03/02 10:22:08 ET