NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, February 20th
(All times eastern)
Atlanta Thrashers (30-22-9) at Carolina Hurricanes (30-24-7), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Atlanta Thrashers' recent slide has helped create a
three-way battle for first place in the Southeast Division. A key matchup in
the race is scheduled for tonight, as the Carolina Hurricanes welcome the
Thrashers to the RBC Center.
The Thrashers have dropped four straight games and as a result, have slipped
into a tie with Tampa Bay for the Southeast lead and the third playoff spot in
the Eastern Conference. Carolina is just two points behind the clubs with 67
Atlanta's latest setback came Saturday in Ottawa. The Senators got third-
period goals from Mike Comrie, Dean McAmmond and Mike Fisher to post the 5-3
comeback win at Scotiabank Place.
Vyacheslav Kozlov had a goal and an assist and Marian Hossa had two helpers
for Atlanta, which also lost for the seventh time in eight games. Steve
McCarthy and Glen Metropolit each had a tally for the Thrashers.
Kari Lehtonen made 25 saves for the Thrashers, who are 1-4-0 on a six-game
road trip that ends this evening.
After tonight, Atlanta will return home for an important two-game homestand
against Tampa Bay and Carolina. The Lightning will be at Philips Arena on
Thursday while the Hurricanes will visit on Saturday.
The Hurricanes have won four of their last six games and are coming off
Saturday's triumph in Montreal. Rod Brind'Amour scored twice to reach 400
goals for his NHL career, and Carolina earned a 5-3 win over the Canadiens.
Eric Staal finished with a goal and two assists, while Erik Cole and Chad
LaRose also lit the lamp for the Hurricanes.
Cam Ward made a season-high 42 stops for Carolina, but the night belonged to
Brind'Amour, who scored with 9.5 seconds left in the second period to give
Carolina a 3-2 edge, a lead the 'Canes would never relinquish.
The Hurricanes, who are 15-11-4 as the host club this year, kick off a mini
two-game homestand tonight. They will welcome the Philadelphia Flyers on
Carolina has held the upper hand in the season series with Atlanta so far,
winning three of the four encounters. The Hurricanes have also won seven of
the last 10 meetings overall and five of the last nine matchups in Raleigh.
02/20 10:59:57 ET