Skip to main content

Atlanta Thrashers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

NHL.com @NHL
Thrashers-Lightning Preview

GAME: Atlanta Thrashers (21-24-6-2) at Tampa Bay Lightning (25-16-6-3).

TIME: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. EST.

The Atlanta Thrashers have welcomed two of their best players back to the ice in their last two games, but so far, it hasn't provided the spark they've been looking for.

The Thrashers look to shake their recent slump as they face the surging Tampa Bay Lightning at the St. Pete Times Forum.

Atlanta lost 4-1 to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday, losing for the third time in five games. The Thrashers have won just twice in their last 16 games (2-10-3-1).

Atlanta is tied with Buffalo with 55 points, five behind the New York Islanders for eighth place in the Eastern Conference. They are in second place in the Southeast Division, nine points behind the Lightning.

"I don't know if panic is the right word, but it's definitely gotten to the point where we have to play with desperation every game," Marc Savard said. "We've got to do better every shift."

Savard returned after missing seven games with a sprained knee and scored Atlanta's only goal. The center, who was activated on Friday, has missed 20 games this season with various injuries and has 15 goals and 26 assists in 32 games.

Dany Heatley played in his second game of the season after recovering from a car wreck that killed teammate Dan Snyder, but managed just two shots on goal in 19{ minutes. Heatley was also held without a point in Wednesday's 1-1 tie with the St. Louis Blues, his first game back.

Defenseman Chris Tamer, who missed eight games with a sore back, was also activated on Friday and picked up an assist.

The Lightning are coming off Thursday's 5-1 win over the struggling Pittsburgh Penguins - their fourth straight victory and ninth in 12 games (9-1-0-2).

Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier and Brad Lukowich each had a goal and an assist for Tampa Bay, which was playing its first game at home since a successful 3-0-1 road trip.

"The first game back is always on your mind because it's the toughest game," Richards said. "We knew this was important."

St. Louis has scored five goals in his last three games, and has nine goals and 16 points during an eight-game point streak.

View More