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Atlanta
Thrashers
35-41-6
Detroit
Red Wings
51-21-10

33 SOG
46 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
ATL
DET
game preview

Thrashers-Red Wings Preview

Friday, 10.24.2008 / 7:30 PM

Associated Press

The road has been very good to the Detroit Red Wings.

They're hoping similar success Friday at Joe Louis Arena, where they'll face an Atlanta Thrashers team that has won only once since opening night.

The Red Wings (4-1-1) improved to 3-0 on the road Wednesday with a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues, who were previously unbeaten on their home ice.

"We've been a pretty good road team," said Detroit coach Mike Babcock, whose team opens a five-game trip Saturday at Chicago. "To be a championship level team, you have to be good in both places."

The defending Stanley Cup champions have scored power-play goal in four straight games and have converted 32 percent (8-of-25) of their chances with the man advantage this season, including a 2-for-3 effort against the Blues. Tomas Holmstrom's tally in the second period extended his goal-scoring streak to four games, and increased his team-high total to six goals in the season.

"Holmstrom is good at finding an open spot," said Nicklas Lidstrom, who had the other power-play goal. "He doesn't need much to put the puck in the net."

Pavel Datsyuk helped on both power-play goals, recording at least one assist in his fourth straight game. Datsyuk leads Detroit with seven assists.

Henrik Zetterberg returned from a two-game absence due to a strained groin to score his second goal of the season.

Marian Hossa, who notched his fifth assist in the win, faces his former team Friday. Before moving to Pittsburgh in a trade deadline deal last February, Hossa had 26 goals and 30 assists in 60 games with the Thrashers.

Hossa also posted a career-high 100 points (43 goals, 57 assists) with Atlanta in 2006-07. The veteran right wing, who spent his first seven seasons with Ottawa before joining the Thrashers in 2005-06, has 13 goals and seven assists in 19 career games versus Atlanta, including a career-best four-goal effort Jan. 2, 2003.

With only eight goals in its last five games, Atlanta seems to miss Hossa's scoring punch. Since a season-opening 7-4 win against Washington on Oct. 10, the Thrashers (2-2-2) have scored two goals or fewer four times in five contests, with the lone exception a 3-2 shootout victory over Buffalo on Saturday.

It took Atlanta nearly 47 minutes to score in Tuesday's 3-2 overtime loss at Tampa Bay, but Colby Armstrong notched his first goal in five games and Todd White deflected in a shot with 35.5 seconds left as the Thrashers erased a two-goal deficit to salvage a point.

"When you look at it, is the cup half-empty or half-full?" Atlanta coach John Anderson said. "I'm glad we got a point. Very fortunate. Our comeback was excellent. But I guess the reality set in that we really only played one period. We didn't compete the first two."

Kari Lehtonen is helping the Thrashers stay afloat despite the anemic offense, with a 1.95 goals-against average in his last three games. He made 35 saves against the Lightning, including 17 during an 18-shot first period. In his only game against Detroit, Lehtonen made a career-high 46 saves in a 5-1 Thrashers victory Jan. 15 last season at Joe Louis Arena.

Atlanta has won the past two meetings in the series following seven consecutive Detroit victories.

2008-2009 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 20 '09DET 6 at ATL 3J. Franzen
Oct 24 '08ATL 3 at DET 5H. Zetterberg
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
T. White7268+1210
B. Little7437+4401
R. Hainsey7246+3020
I. Kovalchuk7224+1200
N. Havelid7044+21000
C. Armstrong7213+11000
V. Kozlov7213-3010
J. Williams7123-1000
J. Slater7112-1000
E. Perrin7022+1200
E. Christensen7022-3000
M. Schneider7022-61200
M. Reasoner7101+2400
B. Sterling1101+0000
T. Enstrom7011-2600
G. Exelby7000+2600
C. Thorburn7000-11000
Z. Bogosian6000+01300
E. Boulton6000-22600
N. Oystrick1000-1000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
K. Lehtonen72-3-2212552.99.918
J. Hedberg10-0-0010.001.000
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
M. Hossa7369+7801
B. Rafalski7189+4210
P. Datsyuk7088+6000
T. Holmstrom7617+3041
J. Franzen7426+2602
H. Zetterberg5426+2211
N. Lidstrom7246+7020
M. Samuelsson7156+2200
D. Cleary7224-3600
V. Filppula7123-3200
J. Hudler7112-5010
N. Kronwall7022-11000
B. Stuart6011-3800
D. Meech3011+0000
K. Maltby7000+0800
T. Kopecky7000-1200
K. Draper7000-4600
B. Lebda7000-6200
A. Lilja5000+0200
D. Helm2000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
C. Osgood53-1-1161453.20.890
T. Conklin22-0-04522.00.923