Atlanta, which failed to win more than 23 games in its first
three seasons before going 31-39-7-5 in 2002-03, is six points
in front of second-place Tampa Bay in the Southeast Division and
is 7-4-0 in its last 11 games.
The Thrashers, who didn't reach 20 victories until February 17
last season, had a three-game winning streak stopped with
Sunday's 5-2 loss at Ottawa. Ronald Petrovicky scored his 10th
goal and Patrik Stefan added a power-play tally.
Ilya Kovalchuk, who is second in the NHL with 21 goals, had only
one shot in 26 1/2 minutes against Ottawa. Kovalchuk had eight
points in his previous three games and Atlanta is 2-8-2 when he
is kept off the scoresheet.