NHL Game Summary - Atlanta at Carolina
(Wednesday, October 25th)
Final Score: Carolina 5, Atlanta 4 (OT)
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Anton Babchuk scored in overtime to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 5-4 win over the Atlanta Thrashers at the RBC Center.
A turnover deep in the Atlanta zone was picked up by Justin Williams along the left boards and he fed it to Babchuk at the right point. Babchuk skated down low, went to the backhand to get Kari Lehtonen out of position and slid the puck past the goaltender's right pad 1:11 into the extra frame.
Eric Staal and Andrew Hutchinson each had a goal and an assist and Cam Ward stopped 32 shots for the Hurricanes, who stopped a two-game slide.
Ilya Kovalchuk had a goal and an assist while Lehtonen turned aside 33 shots for the Thrashers, who had a four-game winning streak snapped.
The Thrashers took a 1-0 lead at the 3:14 mark of the first period. J.P. Vigier fought off a Carolina player behind the left side of the net and hit Brad Larsen with a centering pass. Larsen fanned on the one-timer, but the disc went right to Eric Boulton, who tapped the puck into the open net from the right side for his first goal of the season.
The Hurricanes, however, tied the game when Staal picked up a turnover in his own end, skated down the right wing and from the right circle snapped a shot between the pads of Lehtonen at the 4:53 mark of the first.
Carolina scored twice more to take a 3-1 lead into the first intermission.
On the power play, Hutchinson let fly with a shot from the left point that deflected off the skate of Scott Walker in front of the net at the 16:40 mark of the period.
With time winding down, Rod Brind'Amour dished the puck to Hutchinson in the slot and he cranked a slap shot that went over the glove of Lehtonen with 36.6 seconds to play.
Lehtonen made a beautiful pad save on an Erik Cole backhand shot down low about seven minutes into the second to keep his club within two goals.
Ward answered at the other end of the ice when he snared a shot from Steve Rucchin out of the air halfway through the second.
However, Atlanta tied the game with a pair of goals to make it a 3-3 contests.
A turnover at the Carolina blueline resulted in a 2-on-1 rush and Kovalchuk passed the puck under the defender's stick to Jon Sim, who snapped a wrister from the slot into the right corner of the net with 8:29 left in the second.
With less than three minutes to play in the second, Greg De Vries had the puck at the left point and blasted a shot that missed the net. The puck, though, bounced off the back boards and it popped out the right side to Scott Mellanby, who slid it under the pad of Ward for his fifth goal of the season.
Atlanta outshot Carolina, 22-11, in the second period.
The Hurricanes took a 4-3 lead 4:23 into the third period when Ryan Bayda smacked a rebound into the net that Lehtonen was trying to cover up for his first goal of the year.
The Thrashers, though, tied the game when Vitaly Vishnevski's left point slap shot was deflected by Kovalchuk in front of the net at the 8:21 mark of the third.
Atlanta's next game is in Philadelphia on Thursday...The Hurricanes travel to Tampa Bay for a game on Thursday...Williams has five goals and two assists over his last four games...Carolina has won both games against Atlanta this year...The Thrashers were 0-for-4 on the power play while the Hurricanes were successful on one of their six man advantages...Sim has six goals on the season.
10/25 22:06:01 ET