Odds Favor Thrashers

Atlanta, GA - The New York Islanders and Atlanta Thrashers have had trouble earning points this season. They hope their recent play is the first step toward fixing that problem.

Bet NHL Hockey

New York looks to win three straight games for the first time in 2008-09 and Atlanta tries to post its first back-to-back victories of the season when the teams meet at Philips Arena on Thursday night.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Atlanta -145 money line favorites (NHL Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 5.5 goals (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 50% of bets for this game have been placed on Atlanta -145 (View NHL Bet Percentages).

The Islanders (4-7-1) are tied for the second-fewest points in the NHL, one more than Atlanta (3-7-2), which along with Los Angeles has a league-low eight.

Both New York and Atlanta, though, have reason to be optimistic.

The Islanders ended a six-game losing streak with a 4-3 overtime win over Columbus at home Monday before defeating the Eastern Conference-leading New York Rangers 2-1 at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.

The Thrashers snapped their own six-game skid Sunday, beating Florida 5-3 at home for just their second win in 11 games since opening the season with a 7-4 victory over Washington on Oct. 10.

New York was outshot 36-19 by the Rangers on Tuesday, but got short-handed goals from Nate Thompson and Richard Park in the first 8 minutes of the third period to back Joey MacDonald's 35 saves.

"It was a huge morale-lifter for us," Thompson said after his first NHL point broke up the scoreless tie. "I can't say enough for our team and Joey MacDonald for sticking with the game plan."

Park scored the Islanders' NHL-leading sixth short-handed goal.

"After the second period, we made a point to say, 'Let's let them beat themselves. Let's let them make some mistakes and try to capitalize on some opportunities. If we can do that and sneak two points out of here, then it's a good win,'" Park said.

Atlanta is also coming off a good win, posting its highest goal total Sunday since that season-opening victory over the Capitals. Ilya Kovalchuk scored twice and added an assist, and Erik Christiansen assisted on both of Kovalchuk's goals to lead the Thrashers.

"It seems like when I score, we win," Kovalchuk said. "We still gave up too many opportunities. We need to make sure we play defense first. We gave up two soft goals."

Rookie Ondrej Pavelec made his first career start in place of ailing Kari Lehtonen after stopping all six shots he faced in the final period of Saturday's 6-1 loss at New Jersey. Pavelec, 21, stopped 18 shots against the Panthers.

"The guys in front of me played great and did a good job and that's why we won," Pavelec said. "We played more defensive."

Atlanta and New York have struggled defensively. The Thrashers have given up 46 goals and the Islanders 41, putting both teams in the top 10 in the league in most allowed.

New York won the final two meetings between these clubs in 2007-08 to earn a split of the season series. The Islanders have recorded a point in 13 of their 16 all-time visits to Atlanta, going 9-3-2 with two ties.

Bet NHL Hockey

Did you like this article? Subscribe to our Hockey news feed for the fastest updates delivered right to you - Click here to Subscribe

Posted: 11/06/08 12:19 AM

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Wild vs. Red Wings Prediction Are the Red Wings a good bet to beat the Wild today at 12:30PM ET when they host Minnesota in one of their final home games?
Thumbnail Blackhawks vs. Panthers Prediction Are the Blackhawks a good bet to beat the Panthers tonight when the two clash at 7:00PM ET?
Thumbnail Stars vs. Sharks Prediction Will the Dallas Stars pull off the upset tonight as a home underdog versus the San Jose Sharks at 8:30PM ET?
Thumbnail Hosts still pushing for playoff spot   Maple Leafs rookie Auston Matthews snapped a seven-game goalless drought when he potted his 32nd marker of the season Saturday. Can Ontario’s darling carry that...
Thumbnail Laine, visitors aim to extend Minny's skid   A season that started so promisingly for the Wild is spinning out of control down the stretch. Can Bruce Boudreau’s troops find a way to right themselves...

NHL Headlines

NHL Team Pages