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GAME: Ottawa Senators (41-15-5) at Atlanta Thrashers (30-27-6).
TIME: Friday, 7 p.m. EST.
The Atlanta Thrashers are getting hot again at the right time.
Atlanta looks for its longest winning streak in nearly two months when they meet the new-look Ottawa Senators at Philips Arena.
The Thrashers, whose last two wins have come in shootouts, also have won six of seven overall. They are one of only five teams with more than one win against the Senators this season and are looking for their fourth straight victory over them.
Atlanta has not won four in a row overall since a season-high five-game run from Jan. 6-18.
The Thrashers are coming off a 3-2 shootout win Wednesday over the New York Rangers. After struggling earlier in the game, Marian Hossa snapped a shot over the left leg of Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist in the fourth round.
"It's not pretty, but we got the points," Hossa said.
Atlanta's four shootout wins this season have come since Jan. 11.
Leading scorer Ilya Kovalchuk had three goals and an assist in Atlanta's 8-3 rout of the Senators on Jan. 2. The top overall pick in the 2001 draft needs one goal to match his career high (41) set in 2003-04.
Kovalchuk also had a goal in Atlanta's 2-1 win over the Senators on Feb. 9. Five of his eight career goals against Ottawa have come on the power play.
Atlanta trails Montreal by three points for the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot, and the Canadiens have a game in hand.
The Senators, seeded second in the Eastern Conference, made a pair of deals at the trade deadline Thursday.
With Dominik Hasek still out with an injured groin, Ottawa picked up goaltender Mike Morrison off waivers from Edmonton.
Morrison, the odd man out in the Oilers' three-goaltender system, has not won since Feb. 6. In five games, including three starts since then, he has stopped only 53 of 66 shots for a .803 save percentage with four losses.
Ottawa also picked up center Tyler Arnason from Chicago. Arnason was the Blackhawks' second-leading scorer 13 goals and 41 points in 60 games.
Ottawa saw its five-game winning streak end with a 6-2 loss Wednesday to Florida. Peter Schaefer and Antoine Vermette scored and rookie Ray Emery made a season-high 38 saves.
"I don't know if it was too much sun or whether the players took it for granted," Ottawa coach Bryan Murray said. "We know we're not going to win every night but if we make a lot of mistakes, that's a little extreme."
The Senators have not dropped back-to-back road games since Feb. 4-8.
STANDINGS: Senators - 87 points, 1st place, Northeast Division. Thrashers - 66 points, 3rd place, 25 PB, Southeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Senators - Dany Heatley, 36 goals; Jason Spezza, 47 assists; Daniel Alfredsson, 78 points; Chris Neil, 157 PIM. Thrashers - Kovalchuk, 40 goals and 78 points; Marc Savard, 53 assists; Andy Sutton, 110 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Senators - Power play: 20.5 percent (74 for 361), 3rd in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.6 percent (315 for 368), 3rd (tied). Thrashers - Power play: 19.2 percent (81 for 421), 6th. Penalty killing: 79.4 percent (312 for 393), 25th.
GOALTENDERS: Senators - Emery (13-5-1, 2 SO, 2.93 GAA); Morrison (10-4-2, 0, 2.83). Thrashers - Kari Lehtonen (13-10-0, 1, 2.74); Mike Dunham (4-4-1, 1, 2.79).
SEASON SERIES: Thrashers, 2-0.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 9; Thrashers, 2-1. At Ottawa, Sutton scored in the third period to break a 1-1 tie and Lehtonen made 33 saves for the Thrashers. Andrej Meszaros scored for the Senators.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Senators - 18-9-4 on the road; Thrashers - 17-11-4 at home.
|Apr 03 '06||ATL 4 at OTT 6||B. Smolinski|
|Mar 10 '06||OTT 3 at ATL 1||C. Kelly|
|Feb 09 '06||ATL 2 at OTT 1||A. Sutton|
|Jan 02 '06||OTT 3 at ATL 8||M. Hossa|