The Thrashers (12-7-3) look to snap a season-high four-game losing streak Tuesday when they face off against the Capitals (8-6-6) again at Verizon Center.
Atlanta has defeated Washington in each of their three meetings by a 4-3 score. The first victory, on Oct. 14, came in overtime, while the second on Oct. 19 came in a shootout.
"Right now, they're one goal better than us," Capitals coach Glen Hanlon said after the most recent meeting Nov. 3, which was decided in regulation. "They're at the top of our pack in the Southeast, and we look at them as where we have to get to."
The Thrashers are battling Carolina for the Southeast Division lead. The Caps, meanwhile, have moved out of last place and into third since the last meeting.
Atlanta's Marian Hossa has recorded three goals and two assists in the season series, while Ilya Kovalchuk has picked up a goal and five assists. Dainius Zubrus has four goals and two assists this season against the Thrashers.
Atlanta is coming off Saturday's 3-1 loss to Montreal. The Thrashers have allowed an average of 4.5 goals during their four-game slide, nearly 1.5 more than their season average.
Atlanta has scored just nine goals during the skid despite boasting three of the league's top scorers in Hossa (16 goals, 15 assists), Kovalchuk (14 goals, 13 assists) and Vyacheslav Kozlov (nine goals, 17 assists). The team's losing streak comes on the heels of its second four-game winning streak of the season.
The Capitals are also in the midst of their longest losing streak of the season. They dropped their third straight Saturday, 3-2 at Boston in overtime.
Jakub Klepis and Alexander Ovechkin scored for Washington, which has just five goals in its last three games. Brent Johnson stopped 35 shots in his first action in five contests.
"They had some chances and our goalie played terrific again," Hanlon said. "Overall, I thought it was a well-played game. We had our scoring chances so I thought it was a fairly even game."
Right wing Chris Clark, who missed two games after getting hit in the mouth with a puck, is expected to return against the Thrashers. Left wing Alexander Semin is likely out until Saturday against the New York Islanders because of a shoulder injury.
"They wanted to make sure the swelling was natural and didn't have anything to do with anything else," Clark told the team's official Web site. "I could have played the last two games. If it was the playoffs, I wouldn't have missed any time."
|Apr 04 '07||WSH 3 at ATL 2||A. Ovechkin|
|Mar 12 '07||WSH 2 at ATL 4||K. Tkachuk|
|Jan 06 '07||ATL 2 at WSH 3 - OT||A. Semin|
|Dec 15 '06||WSH 3 at ATL 2 - OT||A. Ovechkin|
|Nov 22 '06||ATL 4 at WSH 2||G. Metropolit|
|Nov 03 '06||ATL 4 at WSH 3||S. Rucchin|
|Oct 19 '06||WSH 3 at ATL 4 - SO||V. Kozlov|
|Oct 14 '06||ATL 4 at WSH 3 - OT||I. Kovalchuk|