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Bruins-Thrashers Preview @NHL

Though they had plenty of success during a grueling stretch of road games, the Atlanta Thrashers are no doubt glad to be home.

The Southeast Division-leading Thrashers open a three-game homestand when they host the Boston Bruins on Monday.

The Thrashers (10-3-3) played seven of their last eight games on the road, going 4-1-2 away from home during that stretch. Atlanta is off to the best start in franchise history through 16 games in both wins and points.

Atlanta, which was 6-9-1 after 16 games last season, ranks among the league leaders with 3.44 goals per game.

The Thrashers wrapped up their tough eight-game stretch with victories on consecutive nights, including Saturday's 4-1 win over the New York Islanders. Marian Hossa, who is among the NHL leaders with 12 goals and 21 points, had a goal and an assist for Atlanta on Saturday.

"It was our most complete effort all year," goalie Johan Hedberg said. "We were smart with the forecheck, and we were around the puck all night."

Hedberg made 23 saves in his second straight start and third of the season. He stopped 24 shots one night earlier in Atlanta's 4-3 win in Washington after replacing Kari Lehtonen in Wednesday's home loss to Carolina.

Lehtonen, who gave up four goals on 13 shots against the Hurricanes, is 8-3-3 with a 2.72 goals-against average, but has allowed 17 goals in his last four starts. He set a franchise scoreless record of 167 minutes, 56 seconds earlier this season.

J.P. Vigier also scored Saturday after breaking his nose at Washington, while Scott Mellanby hurt his left arm in the third period against the Islanders when he was checked into the boards. Thrashers coach Bob Hartley said Mellanby might be able to play against the Bruins (4-5-2).

"I got a stinger," Mellanby said. "I kind of twisted my neck. My shoulder is fine, but I'll be sore tomorrow."

The Bruins have earned a point in each of their last three games, including Saturday's 6-5 overtime win over Tampa Bay. Boston beat Ottawa 2-1 on Oct. 28 before blowing a three-goal, third-period lead in Thursday's 5-4 shootout loss to Buffalo.

"We haven't given the fans much to cheer about," said Glen Murray, who scored 17 seconds into overtime Saturday. "But, obviously wins make the fans happy, plain and simple. And that was a big win for us, so hopefully we can get on a roll."

Goalie Hannu Toivonen made his first start since Oct. 21, but was pulled after giving up five goals in two periods. Tim Thomas, who is 2-2-2 with a 3.21 GAA in seven games, made seven saves in his place.

"We've been through some tough times, these are really tough times," said Marc Savard, who had two goals and three assists. "We could have kicked the can and said, 'The hell with it,' especially tonight. This really credits our hockey club, the kind of people we have in here."

Savard had 63 goals and 133 assists in 184 games with Atlanta before signing a four-year deal with Boston on July 1.

The Bruins have lost their last three games against the Thrashers after earning four wins and a tie in the previous five meetings between the teams.

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