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Thrashers-Canadiens Preview @NHL

Montreal Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau probably would prefer not to alter his team's goaltending rotation. However, after consecutive poor outings by veteran David Aebischer, that might happen when the Canadiens host the Southeast Division-leading Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday.

Aebischer and Cristobal Huet have been alternating starts two at a time this season. However, Aebischer has been pulled in his last two starts - 5-1 losses at Florida on Thursday and to Toronto on Nov. 11.

It is Aebischer's turn in the rotation, but that could change after his recent struggles.

"(Thursday) he didn't seem comfortable from the start to the end of the second period," Carbonneau said. "But I'm not worried about him. He'll bounce back."

Aebischer has allowed eight goals in his last four periods, after allowing only four goals to win his previous two games.

"I was ready," Aebischer said of Thursday's defeat. "I just didn't play well. I have to play better. I have to do better next time."

Huet is 5-2-2 with a 2.35 GAA this season and will go for his third straight win if he gets the call.

After putting 13 shots on net in the first period, Montreal (10-5-3) had just 15 the rest of the way Thursday.

"I thought we had a decent start," Carbonneau said. "We played pretty well in the first period, but we came out of it 1-0 down. That second goal really killed us and cut our legs off."

Montreal has not lost consecutive games this season and has won two of its last three at the Bell Centre.

Atlanta (12-6-3) will try to avoid losing its fourth straight game Saturday. The Thrashers lost 5-3 to Dallas at home Friday, but still hold a two-point lead over the Carolina Hurricanes in the Southeast Division.

The Thrashers got a scare when Marian Hossa, who scored his league-leading 16th goal, needed help leaving the ice after crashing into the boards late in the game. Hossa, who has 31 points on the season, said he expects to play Saturday.

"I'm going to be fine," said Hossa, who had no goals and one assist in four games against Montreal last season.

Steve Rucchin scored his fourth goal of the season 42 seconds into the game, but the Thrashers didn't score again until the third period and finished with only 23 shots.

Goaltender Kari Lehtonen was pulled late in the first period for Johan Hedberg after allowing three goals on seven shots. Lehtonen, who has won just once in his last six starts, has allowed 13 goals during Atlanta's three-game losing streak.

"I pulled Kari basically to turn the game around," Atlanta coach Bob Hartley said.

The Thrashers have been outscored 15-8 during their skid.

Montreal went 2-1-1 against Atlanta last season.

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