NHL Game Summary - Atlanta at Carolina
(Saturday, March 27th)
Final Score: Atlanta 4, Carolina 0
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Johan Hedberg stopped 34 shots for his second shutout of the season to help the Atlanta Thrashers take a 4-0 win over the Carolina Hurricanes in the opener of a home-and-home set at RBC Center.
Rich Peverley, Evgeny Artyukhin, Jim Slater and Niclas Bergfors each had a goal for the Thrashers, who snapped a two-game slide.
"They went out there and did what we asked them to do," said Atlanta head coach John Anderson. "Pretty happy about the result. There were certain things we talked about in the meeting the other day and they performed and I got to give them credit."
The win gives Atlanta 78 points on the season, and the Thrashers now trail Philadelphia and Boston by two points for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Flyers dropped a 4-1 decision to the Penguins, while the Bruins beat the Flames, 5-0, earlier on Saturday.
Manny Legace made 39 stops for the Hurricanes, who have dropped three of their last four games.
"Manny was real good in the first period and we needed to get more on them, looking for plays rather than just shooting the puck," said Carolina head coach Paul Maurice. "It hurt our confidence, the lack of shots early on was not a good sign for our team."
Carolina has not been eliminated from playoff contention, but at 71 points it is a longshot to advance to the postseason.
These two teams will meet in Atlanta on Monday.
After a scoreless first period that saw Legace make 18 saves and Hedberg six, the Thrashers put three into the net in the second period.
The first goal came 7:46 into the frame on the rush, as Maxim Afinogenov sent a backhand pass from the low right circle to the slot, where Peverley one- timed the puck into the net.
Less than a minute later, Artyukhin grabbed the puck just after crossing the blue line, skated down the right side and banged in a shot off the left post.
With just 2:17 left and Atlanta skating on a 2-on-1, Bergfors kept the puck and from in front lifted a backhander into the top of the net for a 3-0 lead.
Carolina came hard to the Atlanta net early in the third period, but Hedberg made several stops to keep the three-goal lead.
Slater's power-play goal with 1:55 to play capped the scoring in the game.
The road team has won all five games in the series this season...Hedberg has 13 shutouts in his career...Atlanta went 1-for-3 on the power play, while Carolina was scoreless in its four chances.
03/27 22:10:16 ET