NHL Game Summary - Carolina at Atlanta|
(Sunday, March 4th)
Final Score: Atlanta 3, Carolina 1
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Marian Hossa scored twice and Kari Lehtonen
stopped 35 shots to give the Atlanta Thrashers a 3-1 win over the Carolina
Hurricanes and a share of first place in the Southeast Division.
Ilya Kovalchuk scored the other goal for the Thrashers, who have won their
last three games and are now tied with Tampa Bay for the top spot in the
Southeast and third in the Eastern Conference.
"I think we deserve a lot of credit, the whole team," said Hossa. "These are
two big points. We have to find a way to win. We have four lines to rotate. We
all have fresh legs when we are on the ice, that makes a big difference."
Rod Brind'Amour scored the lone goal and John Grahame made 22 saves for the
Hurricanes, who have dropped three of their last four and hold the last
playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 73 points, one ahead of Montreal.
"A huge two points to lose against a division rival," said Grahame. "We're
chasing them, it's the biggest game of the year and everybody is disappointed.
We're chasing the division and you have to have your eye on the prize. You
gotta win games and get points."
The Thrashers grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first period when, on a delayed
penalty call to Carolina, Hossa skated in on a breakaway and snapped a wrister
that beat Grahame on the stick side halfway through the frame.
Carolina, though, tied the game with 18 seconds left in the first when
Brind'Amour's wrist shot from the slot found the back of the net.
Atlanta took a 2-1 lead in the second period as Kovalchuk pounced on a rebound
and wrister a shot into the right corner of the net for a power-play goal at
the 14:35 mark.
Lehtonen made nine saves in the second to keep Carolina off the scoreboard.
The Thrashers gave themselves some cushion when Bobby Holik left a drop pass
in the slot for Hossa, who fired a blast from 15 feet out to make it a 3-1
game halfway through the third.
Carolina peppered Lehtonen with 15 shots in the final frame, but he turned all
of them aside to preserve the victory.
Carolina has off until Friday when it will play in Washington...Atlanta hosts
Florida on Tuesday...Holik's assist on Hossa's second goal was his 700th
career point...Atlanta's Keith Tkachuk went over 2,000 career penalty minutes
in the game...Carolina has won four of seven matchups against Atlanta this
season...Atlanta went 1-for-4 on the power play while Carolina was held
scoreless in its four chances.
03/04 17:08:27 ET