After failing to win six games in a row for the first time in franchise history in their last outing, the Atlanta Thrashers will attempt to deny the Ottawa Senators a season-high fifth straight victory when the teams meet on Monday.
The Southeast Division-leading Thrashers (23-11-6) had their five-game win streak snapped with a 4-1 defeat at Buffalo on Saturday. Atlanta has won a franchise-best five in a row twice this season.
"We played a pretty strong game, but they capitalized on a couple of chances," Atlanta coach Bob Hartley said after Saturday's loss. "We can't fault our effort. We played a good game, and showed up to work."
The loss dropped Atlanta seven points behind Buffalo for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Kari Lehtonen made his sixth straight start for Atlanta and finished with 28 saves. He has allowed 14 goals over those starts.
"Both teams played pretty well," Lehtonen said. "They got some chances, and we weren't able to come back. A couple of mistakes here and there, and that's how they got the lead."
Lehtonen replaced Johan Hedberg against Ottawa (21-18-1) on Nov. 8, and stopped all 19 shots he faced in the last period and a half to lead Atlanta to a 5-4 comeback victory. He is 2-2-0 with a 2.84 goals-against average in his career against the Senators.
Ottawa tied its season-high win streak at four games with a 3-2 overtime victory at Toronto on Saturday night. Chris Kelly scored the tying goal with 2:06 left in regulation and Chris Phillips scored in overtime to give the Senators the win.
Ray Emery had a season-high 43 saves and Dean McAmmond also scored for Ottawa.
"We battled back," Kelly said. "Philly had the big goal in overtime but Ray was 'The Man' tonight."
Emery is 3-1-0 against Atlanta in his career, but has a 3.50 GAA in those contests.
Thrashers right wing Marian Hossa and Senators forward Dany Heatley will oppose each other for the sixth time since they were the centerpieces in an Aug. 23, 2005, trade.
Hossa, who scored 188 goals with Ottawa from 1997-04, has three goals and five assists against the Senators. Heatley, who had 181 points in 190 games with Atlanta, has three goals and an assist against the Thrashers.
Ottawa is 15-5-3 with two ties all-time against Atlanta, but has lost four of the last six meetings in the series. The Senators are 7-2-2 with a tie against the Thrashers at home.
These teams meet again in Ottawa on Feb. 17 before concluding their season series with a matchup in Atlanta on March 2.