Atlanta (3-6-0) at Pittsburgh (0-4-5), 7:30 pm EDT
PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- November nears and the Pittsburgh Penguins
are still without a win. Thursday may provide a prime
opportunity to change that.
The Penguins will try to end their nine-game losing streak to
start the season when they host the Atlanta Thrashers on
Thursday in a matchup of the two worst teams in the Eastern
With two more losses, Pittsburgh would match the 1943-44 New
York Rangers with the most setbacks to begin a season. The
Penguins' nine-game slide already ranks as the second-longest to
open a campaign in league history.
Perhaps the most frustrating setback in the skid came Tuesday
against Florida, a 4-3 loss in overtime. Pittsburgh took its
first lead since October 8 - a span of more than 400 minutes -
on defenseman Dick Tarnstrom's goal at 7:07 in the third period.
However, the Penguins allowed a late power-play goal and, after
captain Mario Lemieux took a penalty with seconds left in
regulation, the Panthers converted with a power-play tally 53
seconds into OT.
In order to avoid a 10th straight loss, Pittsburgh will try to
take advantage of a Thrashers squad that has lost five of six by
a combined score of 29-9.
After snapping a four-game losing streak Saturday against New
Jersey, Atlanta reverted to its losing ways Tuesday with a 4-3
setback to the New York Islanders.
Ilya Kovalchuk had his best scoring effort this season with a
pair of goals but the Islanders scored three times in a span of
8:24 in the second period to take control.
Kovalchuk, who tied two others with a league-leading 41 goals
last season, had just one through his first five games.