NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, December 16th (All times eastern)
Carolina Hurricanes (13-12-4) at Atlanta Thrashers (17-11-4), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - An incredible comeback last night has put the Hurricanes in position to make their five-game road trip a successful one.
Carolina concludes its swing this evening against the Atlanta Thrashers, who return to Philips Arena after a brief trek of their own looking for a seventh victory in their last eight games as the host.
Playing for the first time since Saturday, the Hurricanes fell behind 3-0 in the first period on Wednesday night versus the Florida Panthers. However, Erik Cole scored in the second period to get Carolina's offense going and Tuomo Ruutu tallied the game-tying and game-winning goals 1:28 apart in the third period to give the 'Canes a 4-3 victory.
Jamie McBain also scored in the third frame and Justin Peters made 21 saves. He relieved Cam Ward, who was yanked after yielding two goals on five shots in the game's first 1:42 of action.
"I didn't like our morning skate and we talked about (having a slow start) before hand and then we came out and it happened," said Carolina head coach Paul Maurice. "It would have been very easy for our players to write [the game] off and they didn't."
The Hurricanes improved to 2-1-1 on their swing and 7-7-3 on the road overall this season.
Ward could get the start tonight in the road trip's finale and is 15-8-2 with a 3.10 goals-against average versus Atlanta. Peters has never faced the club.
Atlanta returns home following a 2-0-1 road trip. It took the first two games of the quick swing before losing in Tampa Bay, 2-1, in a shootout last night.
The Lightning's Victor Hedman scored the breakaway session's only goal in the fourth round and Evander Kane failed to extend the tiebreaker for the Thrashers.
Rich Peverley scored a short-handed goal and Ondrej Pavelec made 30 saves for the Thrashers, who had won 10 of their last 12.
"He deserved a better fate than the loss," Thrashers head coach Craig Ramsay said of Pavelec, who is 2-3-0 with a 4.03 GAA in his career versus the Hurricanes.
Backup Chris Mason, who has made just one start since Nov. 14, is 2-2-0 with a solid 1.26 GAA against Carolina.
Atlanta, which plays its next two games at Philips Arena, is 9-6-1 at home this season.
These two Southeast Division rivals are meeting for the first time this season after splitting their six-game set in each of the last two seasons. The 'Canes have won three straight and four of their last five at Atlanta.
12/16 11:33:08 ET