The Thrashers look to win their 12th straight home game over the Panthers on Thursday night at Philips Arena.
Atlanta (18-18-1) lost to Columbus 2-0 on Wednesday, snapping a four-game winning streak. The Thrashers had scored 15 goals during their run, but managed just 21 shots in the loss.
"They were doing the things that we talked about doing," Atlanta coach Don Waddell said. "They were bottling us up in their own zone and the neutral zone."
The Thrashers try to bounce back against the Panthers at home, where they haven't lost to them since Oct. 25, 2003. Atlanta has outscored Florida 45-22 over that span. The Thrashers also have won eight of 10 games over the Panthers since the start of last season, including both meetings this season.
In this season's only home game against the Panthers, the Thrashers won 3-2 in overtime on Nov. 13. Marian Hossa scored with three seconds left in regulation and Ilya Kovalchuk had the game winner 25 seconds into the extra frame.
Kovalchuk has seven goals and eight assists during the home win streak over Florida, and nine goals with seven assists in his last 10 games against the Panthers. Though he leads the NHL with 29 goals and has a team-high 47 points, Kovalchuk held without a goal on Wednesday for just the second time in his last six games.
Hossa is second on the Thrashers with 13 goals, and has nine goals and six assists against Florida since last season.
Goaltender Kari Lehtonen stopped 24 shots versus Columbus, ending his four-game winning streak. Lehtonen, who missed 16 games earlier this season with a groin injury, has yet to face Florida in 2007-08.
He allowed a combined five goals in losing his last two games against the Panthers last season, but is still 11-2-1 with a 1.87 goals-against average and three shutouts lifetime against them. He has been outstanding on the road when facing Florida, posting a 1.84 GAA and two shutouts in winning all seven of his games there.
Florida (17-16-3) hasn't played since its three-game winning streak ended with a 2-1 overtime loss to Toronto on Saturday.
"We were lucky to have three days off like we did," Panthers coach Jacques Martin told the team's official Web site. "Atlanta has had to play two games before we play them. I think it's important to have a good first period tomorrow. We need to start strong and skate hard."
Olli Jokinen scored his team-leading 19th goal on Saturday, and has three goals and three assists during a five-game point streak. Jokinen has had little success in Atlanta lately, though, recording just two goals and one assist in the Panthers' skid there.
Tomas Vokoun, who is in his first season with the Panthers after spending the last eight with Nashville, has also had minimal success against Atlanta.
He has lost five straight starts against the Thrashers since recording his only victory against them on Dec. 30, 1999, a 6-0 Predators win. In his only start of the season against Atlanta on Nov. 9, Vokoun made 23 saves in a 4-1 loss.
|Apr 01 '08||FLA 3 at ATL 2||D. Booth|
|Mar 27 '08||ATL 3 at FLA 2||B. Holik|
|Mar 16 '08||ATL 1 at FLA 3||O. Jokinen|
|Mar 08 '08||ATL 2 at FLA 3 - OT||N. Horton|
|Jan 10 '08||FLA 3 at ATL 2 - SO||O. Jokinen|
|Dec 27 '07||FLA 5 at ATL 3||N. Horton|
|Nov 13 '07||FLA 2 at ATL 3 - OT||I. Kovalchuk|
|Nov 09 '07||ATL 4 at FLA 1||C. Thorburn|