Series (Game 1 of 4)

Montreal leads 3-1

Game 1: Monday, December 29th
Game 2: Saturday, January 3rd
Game 3: Wednesday, January 14th
Game 4: Tuesday, February 17th

Canadiens 2

(17-15-2, 40 pts)

Jets 1

(19-16-1, 42 pts)

7:30 PM ET, December 29, 2003

Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia

1 2 3 T
MTL 2 0 02
WPG 0 1 01

S. Souray (Canadiens - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

P. Brisebois (Canadiens - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

B. Dafoe (Jets - G): Saves: 26, Save Pct.: .929

Montreal (16-15-4-2) at Atlanta (19-15-3-1) 7:30 pm EST

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- The first-place Atlanta Thrashers seek to become the second Eastern Conference team with 20 wins as they host the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night.

Atlanta, which failed to win more than 23 games in its first three seasons before going 31-39-7-5 in 2002-03, is six points in front of second-place Tampa Bay in the Southeast Division and is 7-4-0 in its last 11 games.

The Thrashers, who didn't reach 20 victories until February 17 last season, had a three-game winning streak stopped with Sunday's 5-2 loss at Ottawa. Ronald Petrovicky scored his 10th goal and Patrik Stefan added a power-play tally.

Ilya Kovalchuk, who is second in the NHL with 21 goals, had only one shot in 26 1/2 minutes against Ottawa. Kovalchuk had eight points in his previous three games and Atlanta is 2-8-2 when he is kept off the scoresheet.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are the only Eastern Conference club with 20 wins.

Montreal has opened a four-game road trip with losses to the Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes. On Saturday, Richard Zednik scored the lone goal in a 2-1 overtime loss at Carolina.

The Canadiens are 7-4-3-1 in their last 15 games.