Buffalo (31-15-3) at Atlanta (23-23-6) 7:00 pm EST
ATLANTA (Ticker) -- The Atlanta Thrashers suddenly are looking
up at the playoff picture. But in order to get back there, they
first have to put an end to their downward freefall.
When the Thrashers host the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday, they will
be looking to snap their five-game losing streak and post their
first victory in nearly two weeks.
Atlanta held the eighth playoff spot earlier this month but its
recent skid has dropped the team two points behind Toronto for
the Eastern Conference's final postseason berth.
The Thrashers' latest defeat came Saturday in a 4-1 setback at
Carolina. Marc Savard scored the lone tally for Atlanta, a
third-period power-play goal.
Kari Lehtonen made 23 saves but lost his fourth straight
decision for the Thrashers, who have not dropped six straight
since January 30-February 11, 2004.
Meanwhile, Buffalo is 3-2-0 on its season-high six-game
homestand, which concludes Tuesday.
The Sabres are coming off an 8-4 triumph over Toronto on
Thursday behind a pair of goals from rookie Thomas Vanek. Chris
Drury and Jochen Hecht were among five players to collect a
goal and an assist for Buffalo, which is one victory shy of its
first three-game winning streak since a seven-game run from
Buffalo recorded a 4-1 home victory over Atlanta on December 30
behind 34 saves from Ryan Miller and a goal and an assist from