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Thrashers-Penguins Preview

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Sidney Crosby was held without a point in his last game, and the result was a loss for the Pittsburgh Penguins. That comes as no surprise considering his history with the team.

Crosby and the Penguins try to end a four-game skid on Wednesday when the Southeast Division-leading Atlanta Thrashers visit Mellon Arena.

The 19-year-old center was limited to two shots on goal, and the Penguins (15-14-6) were unable to beat Martin Brodeur in a 3-0 loss Tuesday at New Jersey.

"Offensively, we didn't generate anything," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. "Our second effort was not there. They don't give you much. You have to fight for your scoring chances."

Before running into Brodeur, Crosby had seven goals and 16 assists during a 10-game point streak, matching the longest of his two-year career.

"Brodeur is one of the best ever," Crosby said. "We had only a few chances and couldn't take advantage. In a tight game like that, you have to take advantage of every opportunity. Every time we play these guys, it's tough."

Crosby, the league's leading scorer with 55 points, went pointless for only the seventh time in 31 games. Pittsburgh has lost each of those seven contests and is 0-27-1 all-time when its franchise player fails to record a point.

Even the potent combination of Crosby and rookie Evgeni Malkin hasn't been enough to help the Penguins' power play. They did not score on three chances with the man advantage Tuesday and are 2-for-35 over the past five games.

Pittsburgh's four-game losing streak comes after it won four in a row, which came on the heels of another four-game skid.

Jim Slater's goal with 8.1 seconds left in regulation Tuesday gave the Thrashers (22-10-6) a 2-1 victory over Tampa Bay.

It was the fourth straight win for Atlanta, which matched a franchise record with its fifth straight victory 5-2 over Toronto on Dec. 5.

The Thrashers had lost four of five this season to the Lightning, including an 8-0 defeat on Dec. 7.

"It was a solid win for us. We took a hard one on the chin in Tampa," Slater said.

Kari Lehtonen has been in net for each of Atlanta's last four victories and could see action in back-to-back games given his performance this season against the Penguins.

Lehtonen stopped 39 of 43 shots in a 4-3 overtime loss to Pittsburgh on Dec. 9 and made 36 saves Thursday in a 4-3 shootout victory.

"He's been the difference both times we played them," Crosby said.

If Thrashers coach Bob Hartley decides to start backup Johan Hedberg, it would be Hedberg's first game in Pittsburgh since the Penguins traded him to Vancouver on Aug. 25, 2003.

"It's amazing, how many years it's been, and I've never come back," Hedberg said. "I'm very excited about that one. It will be fun to see what kind of feelings come back."

Atlanta's Marian Hossa, among the league leaders with 49 points, has three goals and 12 assists during an eight-game point streak against the Penguins.

The Thrashers have four wins and an overtime loss in their last five meetings with the Penguins.

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