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Lowly Lightning seek relief against Thrashers

Tampa Bay (7-15-9) at Atlanta (10-17-4), 7:00 p.m. EST

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- The Tampa Bay Lightning have had difficulty

winning all season long. Luckily for them, the Atlanta

Thrashers are experiencing similar troubles on their home ice.

Seeking their third victory in 19 contests, the Lightning hope

to vanquish the lowly Thrashers in a meeting between Southeast

Division foes on Saturday.

Atlanta has lost seven straight at home since beating the

Carolina Hurricanes, 3-2, on November 14. This is the

Thrashers' longest home losing streak since dropping a

franchise-worst nine in a row in 1999-00.

They have allowed four goals or more in three of their last four

games, including a 6-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on


On Friday, Atlanta assigned 21-year-old netminder Ondrej Pavelec

to Chicago of the American Hockey League. That means Johan

Hedberg, who is 1-2-1 with a 5.13 goals-against average in his

last five games against the Lightning, will likely start in


Hedberg has the task of facing a lifeless offense - the

Lightning have scored only 69 goals this season, second-worst in

the NHL.

Tampa Bay is 2-8-5 under interim head coach Rick Tocchet.



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