NHL: New York Islanders at Atlanta Thrashers Preview, Picks, Odds Print
Written by Anthony Rome   
Wednesday, 05 December 2007 02:47
NHL Headline News

Beating The Islanders

The Atlanta Thrashers haven't done much winning lately - except when they face the New York Islanders.

Atlanta looks for its second victory over New York in the last five days when the teams meet at Philips Arena on Wednesday.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Columbus -128 money line favorites (NHL Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 5.5 goals (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 62% of bets for this game have been placed on Columbus –128 (View NHL Bet Percentages).

The Thrashers (12-13-1) won nine of 11 from Oct. 27-Nov. 21, but have since dropped four of their last five. Their lone victory over that span was 4-0 over the struggling Islanders (13-11-1) at Nassau Coliseum on Saturday.

Atlanta followed that win with a 3-2 shootout loss in New Jersey the next day, giving it four goals in its last four defeats. Ilya Kovalchuk scored his NHL-leading 22nd goal in the third period to tie it for the Thrashers, but he failed to get the puck past New Jersey's Martin Brodeur in the shootout, which gave the Devils the win.

"He's a good goalie, one of the best ever," said Kovalchuk, named the NHL's first star for November on Monday. "You need to be real good and real sharp to beat that guy. He moves quick from post to post so I tried to go high."

Despite the loss, Atlanta goaltender Johan Hedberg thought his team took a step in the right direction by playing well against a club that has won seven in a row.

"Against a team like this, we have to be satisfied with coming back and getting a point," Hedberg said. "We made sure we got one point in a tough building against a hot team."

Atlanta won't be facing a hot team Wednesday. The Islanders have lost a season-high three straight, scoring three goals over that span, and have found the back of the net an NHL-low 57 times.

New York has gone 15 straight games scoring three goals or fewer, including a 3-1 home loss to Boston on Monday night. Chris Campoli scored a power-play goal with 1:51 left in the third to help the Islanders avoid being shut out for the second straight game.

"We're not trying to split the atom here," Islanders captain Bill Guerin said. "We're playing hockey, and we all have had some success one way or another. We all know how to play.

"You just have to work through it. Look at New Jersey. Now, they've won seven in a row. We're not out of it."

In Saturday's home defeat to Atlanta, the Islanders outshot the Thrashers 33-30, but fell behind 4-0 after the first period.

"What's wrong with the offense? A lot," Islanders coach Ted Nolan said after Monday's loss. "We've just got to work harder. It comes down to be a little more gritty, a little hungrier. We're OK. OK just doesn't cut it."

Kovalchuk had a goal and an assist Saturday, giving him six goals and three assists in his last nine games against the Islanders.

Atlanta has won just four times in 14 home games against New York since entering the NHL for the 1999-00 season. Two of those victories, though, have come in the last three meetings at Philips Arena.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

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