Florida (4-5-1) at Atlanta (2-7-2), 5:00 pm EDT
ATLANTA (Ticker) — Wins have been hard to come by for the
Atlanta Thrashers. Luckily for them, the Florida Panthers have
been mired in a slump as well.
Losers of six straight and nine of their last 10, the reeling
Thrashers hope for a spark when they host the Panthers on
Ever since its 7-4 victory over the Washington Capitals in the
regular season opener, Atlanta has been caught in a downward
spiral. Due to lackluster defense and a snoozing offense, the
Thrashers have one win since October 10 – and that came in a 3-2
shootout against the Buffalo Sabres eight days later.
They have been outscored, 16-3, over their last three games –
including a 6-1 drubbing by the New Jersey Devils on Saturday.
Goaltender Johan Hedberg started in place of the ill Kari
Lehtonen and was the main culprit in the Devils’ five-goal
outburst in the second period.
Perhaps Atlanta’s misery can be traced to the mild struggles of
Ilya Kovalchuk, who has just three tallies through 11 games.
Last season, the superstar netted 52 goals – including nine
through November 1.
Also scrambling for answers in the early stages of the season,
Florida has dropped three straight games. It suffered a
deflating 3-2 loss in a shootout against the Nashville Predators
on Saturday after blowing a 2-1 lead after the second period.
Rostislav Olesz and defenseman Karlis Skrastins netted goals,
while Craig Anderson made 30 saves for the Florida, which began
a five-game road trip. However, Martin Erat scored a game-tying
goal in the third period and provided the lone tally in the
exhibition to propel Nashville.