NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, December 3rd
(All times eastern)
Atlanta Thrashers (8-13-3) at Ottawa Senators (8-10-4), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A pair of struggling teams will meet tonight in Canada's
capital city, as the Ottawa Senators welcome the Atlanta Thrashers for a
matchup at Scotiabank Place.
The Thrashers have lost four straight and seven of their last eight games
since tying a franchise record with five consecutive victories from November
2-14. Atlanta's slide has now dropped the club to the basement of the Eastern
Conference with just 19 points on the year.
Atlanta's most recent setback came in a wild game at Montreal on Tuesday. The
Thrashers trailed the Canadiens by a 3-0 score heading into the third period,
but Atlanta scored three times within 59 seconds to knot the score early in
the final stanza.
However, Andrei Kostitsyn put Montreal ahead for good with 5:11 left in the
third, but it was Robert Lang's empty-net goal proved that to be the game-
winner as Jason Williams scored for Atlanta with just 20 seconds left to
arrive at the final 5-4 score.
Ron Hainsey scored twice for the Thrashers, who fell to 1-6-1 since the five-
game win streak. Johan Hedberg made 28 saves in the losing effort.
Tonight marks the middle portion of a three-game road trip for the Thrashers,
who are just 3-7-2 as the visiting team this season. Atlanta has lost three of
its last four road tests and will complete this swing with Saturday's matchup
against the New York Islanders.
Meanwhile, the Senators have had a dreadful start to the season, winning just
eight of their first 22 games (8-10-4). Ottawa ended November by losing seven
of nine contests (2-5-2) and heads into the new month as the last-place team
in the Northeast Division with just 20 points.
The basement is not a familiar spot for the Senators, who have made the
playoffs in each of the last 11 seasons and have eclipsed the 100-point mark
in four of their last five campaigns.
Ottawa had recently won back-to-back tilts to end a six-game slide, but
couldn't pick up its first three-game winning streak of the year as it dropped
a road game Saturday against the Islanders. Freddy Meyer finished with a pair
of goals and an assist to lift the Isles to the 4-2 victory at Nassau
Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson both lit the lamp and assisted on a goal
for the Senators. Alex Auld allowed three goals on 24 shots for Ottawa.
The Senators are kicking off a three-game homestand tonight and will also
welcome Pittsburgh and Florida during the residency. Ottawa is just 5-5-2 as
the host this year, but has won two straight at Scotiabank Place.
Ottawa has won six of 10 against the Thrashers and Atlanta has dropped three
straight and four of its last five as the road team in the series.
12/03 10:39:06 ET