Series (Game 3 of 6)

Series tied 3-3

Game 1: Tuesday, October 21st
Game 2: Saturday, November 29th
Game 3: Friday, December 26th
Game 4: Saturday, January 31st
Game 5: Wednesday, February 25th
Game 6: Saturday, April 3rd

Lightning 1

(14-12-1, 34 pts)

Jets 3

(19-14-1, 42 pts)

7:30 PM ET, December 26, 2003

Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia

1 2 3 T
TB 0 0 11
WPG 2 0 13

P. Nurminen (Jets - G): Saves: 34, Save Pct.: .971

A. Sutton (Jets - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

N. Khabibulin (Lightning - G): Saves: 21, Save Pct.: .913

Tampa Bay (14-11-5-1) at Atlanta (18-14-3-1) 7:30 pm EST

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- The top two teams in the Southeast Division meet Friday night when the Atlanta Thrashers host the struggling Tampa Bay Lightning.

Atlanta leads the Eastern Conference with 109 goals and is six points ahead of the Lightning for the lead in the Southeast. Last season, the Lightning won their first division title and also won a playoff series for the first time. The Thrashers have never made the playoffs.

The Thrashers were shut out in three straight games for the first time in team history, but have rebounded with consecutive wins over Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. On Sunday, Ronald Petrovicky recorded his second multi-goal game of the season and Ilya Kovalchuk scored his league-leading 21st to lead the Thrashers to a 4-1 win over the Flyers.

Petrovicky scored twice Sunday and has career-high 10 goals and 15 points. Kovalchuk is tied with Columbus' Rick Nash for the league lead in goals and had three goals in the two wins following a season-high eight-game drought.

The Lightning have scored just 72 goals, which is the fewest among teams with a winning record. They were 11-2-2-1 following a 2-1 home victory over the Buffalo Sabres on November 22, but just 3-9-3 in their last 15 contests.

On Tuesday, the Lightning skated to a 1-1 tie at Boston. Andre Roy scored Tampa Bay's goal 16 seconds into the third period.

The first two meetings between the teams have been decided by one goal. Defenseman Pavel Kubina scored a shorthanded goal 92 seconds into overtime to give Tampa Bay a 3-2 home victory on October 21.

On November 29, J.P. Vigier netted the game-winner with 4:57 remaining to lift Atlanta to a 2-1 win.