NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, March 12th (All times eastern)
Atlanta Thrashers (22-30-13-4) at Carolina Hurricanes (27-33-7-3), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A pair of teams outside of the Eastern Conference playoff race meet tonight, as the Carolina Hurricanes welcome the Atlanta Thrashers to the RBC Center.
The Thrashers have 64 points and are currently 10 behind the New York Islanders for the eighth and final playoff berth in the East. Carolina is even further back with 61 points.
Atlanta continued to struggle on Tuesday night, as it was handed a 2-0 loss by the New York Rangers. Jaromir Jagr posted a goal and an assist for the Rangers and Mike Dunham made 25 saves for his second shutout of the season.
Pasi Nurminen turned aside 23 shots as Atlanta lost for the first time in its last nine tries against New York (7-1-1). The Thrashers also saw their winless slide extended to three games (0-1-1-1).
Jagr netted his 28th of the year with just 33 seconds remaining in the opening stanza to give New York a 1-0 edge. Mironov was able to keep an Atlanta clearing attempt in at the right point and threw the puck on net. Jagr got a piece of it on the way in to get it behind Nurminen.
The Thrashers open a four-game homestand against Washington on Saturday.
The Hurricanes were handed a 4-2 setback by the red-hot Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday night at the RBC Center. Dan Boyle and Tim Taylor each posted a goal and an assist to lead the NHL-leading Lightning.
Jesse Boulerice and Radim Vrbata produced the goals for Carolina, which remained winless in its last five home games (0-3-1-1).
The contest marked the club's first without veteran center Ron Francis, who was shipped to Toronto on Tuesday. Carolina received a fourth-round draft pick in 2005 for Francis.
Hurricanes' goaltender Arturs Irbe made just 12 saves in the setback.
Carolina completes a two-game homestand tonight and starts a five-game road trip in Tampa on Saturday.
The Hurricanes have won three of the last four meetings with Atlanta and are 17-3-4 all-time against the Thrashers. Atlanta is also just 2-9-1 all-time in Carolina.
03/12 10:26:34 ET