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Monday, March 15th (All times eastern)

Carolina Hurricanes (24-30-13-4) at Atlanta Thrashers (28-34-7-3), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - A pair of teams outside the Eastern Conference playoff race meet this evening, as the Carolina Hurricanes visit the Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena.

With just 10 games remaining, the Thrashers have 76 points and are 10 behind the Islanders for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. Carolina is one behind Atlanta and has 11 contests left.

On Saturday, Atlanta tallied a 5-2 home win over the Washington Capitals. Shawn McEachern's goal with slightly over six minutes remaining broke a tie and put the Thrashers ahead for good. McEachern recorded his second game- winning goal of the season.

Slava Kozlov, Randy Robitaille, Andy Sutton and Ilya Kovalchuk also scored in the Thrashers' win, their first in five games (1-2-1-1). Kozlov has scored 15 of his 20 goals this season at home.

Pasi Nurminen stopped 19 shots for Atlanta, which has struggled all season long on home ice and won for just the second time in its last 10 attempts at Philips Arena (2-5-2-1).

The Thrashers will play the third test of a four-game homestand on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Carolina played spoiler Saturday night, tallying a 5-1 win over the Eastern Conference-leading Tampa Bay Lightning at the St. Pete Times Forum.

Sean Hill netted two goals to lead Carolina, while Jaroslav Svoboda and Radim Vrbata each tallied a goal and an assist for Hurricanes. Carolina has won four of its last six games.

On the milestone front, Rod Brind'Amour needs one point for 900 in his career. He has played in 1,098 games, including 308 with Carolina.

Carolina also ended Tampa Bay's 11-game unbeaten streak (10-0-1).

Kevin Weekes made 20 saves for the Hurricanes, while John Grahame stopped 21 shots for Tampa Bay.

The Hurricanes, who begin a four-game swing tonight, have registered a 5-0-1-1 mark in their last seven road tilts. They'll visit the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday.

Carolina has won four of five matchups against the Thrashers this season and is 18-3-4 all-time against Atlanta. The Hurricanes have won two straight at Philips Arena and have just one loss in 12 all-time tests in Atlanta (8-1-3).

03/15 10:12:37 ET


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