NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, November 16th (All times eastern)
Atlanta Thrashers (8-10-0) at Carolina Hurricanes (11-5-3), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Carolina Hurricanes will try to rebound from a lopsided loss when they welcome the Atlanta Thrashers to town tonight for a Southeast Division clash at RBC Center.
The Hurricanes, who lead the Southeast with 25 points, were slammed in Tampa on Wednesday night. Vincent Lecavalier picked up his fifth career hat trick and also donated a pair of assists to carry the Lightning past Carolina, 6-1, at St. Pete Times Forum.
Jeffrey Hamilton had his team's lone goal while John Grahame yielded six goals on 28 shots for the Hurricanes, who had won four of five coming into Wednesday's rout.
The Hurricanes were without left wing Erik Cole, who is expected to miss 7-to-10 days after suffering a neck injury in Monday's game against Florida. Cole fell face-first into Panthers goaltender Tomas Vokoun and had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher. He previously fractured a vertebra in his neck during the 2006 season.
Carolina will play the opener of a four-game homestand this evening. The Hurricanes, who are 5-2-1 as the hosts this season, will also invite Florida, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay to Raleigh during the home-ice stretch.
Meanwhile, the Thrashers have won four of five and six of their last eight contests. The latest victory came in dramatic fashion Tuesday night against the visiting Florida Panthers, as Ilya Kovalchuk scored just 25 seconds into overtime to lift the Thrashers to the 3-2 victory.
Marian Hossa scored with just three seconds left in regulation to force OT for the Thrashers. Todd White also scored for Atlanta and notched an assist on the game- winner.
Johan Hedberg ended with 19 saves for the Thrashers.
With less than 30 seconds gone in overtime, Kovalchuk beat Florida goaltender Craig Anderson with a one-timer from the top of the right faceoff circle. It was Kovalchuk's NHL-leading 15th goal of the season and also represented his team-high 25th point of the year.
The Thrashers are 5-6-0 as the road club this year, but they have been victorious in two straight and four of their last five away games.
Carolina beat the Thrashers last Saturday in the first of eight meetings this season between the teams. However, Atlanta has taken four of the last six overall matchups and has skated away with a victory in three straight trips to Raleigh.
11/16 10:36:17 ET