Skip to Main Content

Thrashers-Coyotes Preview @NHLdotcom

Playing on the other side of the country has energized the Atlanta Thrashers. The Phoenix Coyotes, meanwhile, are on the brink of their longest home losing streak in franchise history.

The Thrashers' season-high, four-game trip continues Thursday night at Arena, where the Coyotes will attempt to avoid their seventh straight home defeat.

Atlanta (21-32-5) has scored 14 times in the first two games of its Western trip after registering 12 goals in its previous eight. The Thrashers had three goals in the first 7:41 and six in regulation Monday night at Los Angeles before giving up three in the final 12:30 en route to a 7-6 shootout win over the Kings.

"We're just doing things right. We're shooting the puck and creating some traffic in front of the net, and the puck is going in," Ilya Kovalchuk said. "But on the other side, we can't give up six goals a game. ... We need to work on that."

Kovalchuk is on a five-game goal streak, scoring eight times in that span. The Thrashers winger, who has a team-leading 29 goals and 61 points, has five goals and seven points in the last two.

With a pair of assists Monday, Slava Kozlov registered his 800th career point and extended his point streak to five. Todd White and Bryan Little have each recorded two points in consecutive games.

Atlanta has needed its strong play on offense to offset the 10 goals it's allowed in the last two games, and the Thrashers are one of the worst defensive teams in the NHL with 3.52 goals allowed per game.

Atlanta, however, will face a Coyotes team that's averaged 2.00 goals since the All-Star break and is one of the Western Conference's worst with 2.50 scored per game.

In addition to its lengthy home skid, Phoenix (25-28-5) has also dropped three in a row overall and 10 of its last 12, including 3-1 on Monday night to visiting Edmonton.

The Coyotes tied it at 1-all on Ed Jovanovski's goal with 3 seconds left in the second period. However, they went silent after that as the Oilers scored twice in the final 20 minutes to hand Phoenix its six straight home loss, tying a dubious record set from Oct. 6-Nov. 3, 2007.

"You need to score goals," coach Wayne Gretzky said. "It's the time of the year where we count on guys to score big goals, and we're not getting them."

Phoenix has allowed 26 goals in the past six games, a span that includes a 1-0 victory Feb. 11 over Dallas. The Coyotes have scored a power-play goal in three straight games and six in their last 24 opportunities but have allowed nine power-play goals in their opponents' last 21 chances.

Phoenix leads the series 9-1-0 with one tie but hasn't faced Atlanta since a 5-4 road win on Jan. 5, 2007. The Thrashers make their first trip to Phoenix since a 5-2 loss on Dec. 5, 2005.

View More