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Thrashers-Devils Preview @NHL

The Atlanta Thrashers, having relied on their dominance over the New Jersey Devils to end one lengthy losing streak this season, will try to do it again.

The Southeast Division-leading Thrashers (24-13-8) look to get out of their funk and earn their seventh straight win over the Atlantic Division-leading Devils (25-14-4) when the teams meet at the Meadowlands on Friday night.

Atlanta lost to Montreal 4-2 on Tuesday, its fourth straight defeat and fifth in six games.

The Thrashers have been outscored 17-9 during their losing streak and went 2-of-20 on the power play in those games.

Greg de Vries and Brad Larsen put Atlanta up 2-0 on Tuesday, but the Thrashers still managed to lose their third straight game in which they led entering the final period.

"We played a pretty solid game, but it's just one of those stretches you go through," Atlanta coach Bob Hartley said. "With the leadership we have, we'll turn the corner and we'll be a better team."

The Thrashers dropped a season-high five in a row from Dec. 7-16, but Atlanta ended that skid with a 4-3 shootout victory over the Devils on Dec. 19.

The Thrashers beat New Jersey 5-2 four days later, and are outscoring the Devils 23-15 during the six-game win streak.

Atlanta, which entered the NHL in 1999-2000, won only four of its first 20 meetings with New Jersey, but has been perfect against them since the lockout.

Marian Hossa, traded to Atlanta from Ottawa before last season, has five goals and five assists in six games against New Jersey as a Thrasher.

Hossa is among the league leaders with 58 points, although he hasn't recorded a point in his last two games.

Ilya Kovalchuk has three goals in his last five contests, and three goals and four assists in his five games against New Jersey since the start of last season.

Goalie Kari Lehtonen should also be happy to see the Devils if he gets the start in goal Friday night. Lehtonen has lost his last three games and allowed 12 goals in that span, but he's 3-0 with a 3.23 goals-against average against New Jersey.

The recent one-sided nature of the series has extended to star New Jersey goalie Martin Brodeur. He leads the NHL with seven shutouts and has a 2.09 GAA this season, but hasn't beaten the Thrashers since Jan. 25, 2004, going 0-3-3 with a 3.43 GAA against Atlanta since the start of last season.

The Thrashers are the only team in the league he has not defeated that he has faced more than once in that span.

Brodeur is 6-1-1 with a 1.61 GAA and three shutouts since losing to Atlanta on Dec. 23, but took the loss as the Devils fell 3-2 to St. Louis on Wednesday.

Brian Gionta scored his team-leading 20th goal of the season, giving him five goals in his last three games.

Patrik Elias assisted on Gionta's goal, and has six goals and eight assists in his last 11 games. He has four goals and five assists in his last five contests against Atlanta.

New Jersey has one of the best home records in the league at 14-4-3, but has lost five of eight games at Continental Airlines Arena since Dec. 12.

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