The Southeast Division-leading Washington Capitals look to get back into the win column when they begin a four-game homestand tonight versus the rival Atlanta Thrashers at the Verizon Center.
Washington will also host the Maple Leafs, Panthers and Avalanche on the residency, and had a four-game winning streak come to an end with Thursday's 2-1 loss in Dallas. Mike Knuble scored the lone goal for Washington, which thought it had tied the game on John Carlson's goal with 7.6 seconds remaining in the third period.
However, referee Dan O'Rourke disallowed the goal and ruled that Caps superstar Alex Ovechkin interfered with Stars goaltender Andrew Raycroft. The call seemed to enrage Washington coach Bruce Boudreau, whose outburst towards the officials resulted in an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
"What do you want me to say that I can't get fined for?" Boudreau said on the team's site. "I mean, if you look at the call, Ovie doesn't touch the guy. Their guy slides into the goalie and takes him out of the play, and the one ref is telling me Ovie's in the paint. It's a bad call. Refs make bad calls, but at that time of the game, when you're down by one, you better be sure something is happening."
Mike Green and Eric Fehr both assisted on Knuble's goal in the third period. Ovechkin, meanwhile, saw his goal-less streak reach a career long-matching nine straight games. Michal Neuvirth stopped 19 shots for the NHL-leading Capitals in defeat.
Much like Washington, the Thrashers will try and get back into the win column after having their franchise record-tying six-game winning streak cut short with Thursday's 3-2 loss at Pittsburgh. Sidney Crosby recorded the seventh hat trick of his career to lead the Penguins.
Bryan Little and Nik Antropov both tallied goals for the Thrashers, who were trying for a club-record seventh straight victory and got 25 saves out of netminder Ondrej Pavelec.
"It is what it is. We have to keep our heads up," said Pavelec, who is 0-6 against Pittsburgh. "They're on a roll, we're on a roll. We just lost one game. We've got to be ready for Saturday."
The Thrashers will close out a three-game road trip tonight. Atlanta has scored the first goal in 11 of its last 13 games. In injury news for the team, forward Evander Kane (knee) is questionable for Saturday's game.
Atlanta thrashed Washington, 5-0, the last time these two clubs squared off on Nov. 19 in Dixie, as Pavelec turned away 29 shots to record his first shutout of the season.
The Thrashers and Capitals have split four meetings so far in 2010-11, while Atlanta has lost nine straight, 10 of 11 and 11 of its last 13 at Washington.