NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, March 5th
(All times eastern)
Carolina Hurricanes (34-29-5) at Atlanta Thrashers (29-31-7), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Southeast Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes will aim
for their fifth victory in six outings tonight, when they visit the sliding
Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena.
The Hurricanes have 73 points on the season and are three ahead of Washington
for first place in the Southeast and the third seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Capitals will also be in action tonight, as they visit Buffalo.
Carolina's latest victory came in blowout fashion this past Saturday against
visiting Tampa Bay. Sergei Samsonov posted two goals and an assist, as the
Hurricanes thumped the Lightning, 5-1, at the RBC Center.
Eric Staal had a goal and two assists for the Hurricanes, who wrapped up their
season-high six-game homestand with a 4-1-1 record.
Tuomo Ruutu netted his first goal since being acquired from Chicago at the
trade deadline and Cam Ward, making his sixth consecutive start, stopped 22-
of-23 shots to earn his 28th win of the season.
Winger Ray Whitney, who is second on Carolina with 59 points this year, sat
out Saturday's game with a groin injury and is questionable for this evening's
The Hurricanes are just 15-17-2 as the visiting club this year and have lost
four of six and six of their last nine road tests.
Meanwhile, the Thrashers have dropped seven straight games although Atlanta
has lost its last three outings after regulation. The Thrashers were handed an
overtime loss by the Islanders on Thursday and were handed back-to-back
shootout setbacks by Boston and Pittsburgh over the weekend.
The Penguins notched a 3-2 home victory over Atlanta on Sunday, as Kristopher
Letang scored the lone goal of the shootout and Marc-Andre Fleury made 31
After the first two shooters were unable to score in the shootout, Letang got
a backhander past Kari Lehtonen on the stick side to give the Penguins the
advantage. Three shooters later Fleury stopped Ilya Kovalchuk with a pad save
and Pittsburgh prevailed, earning the two points.
Jim Slater and Slava Kozlov each tallied for Atlanta, while Joel Kwiatkowski
had two assists in defeat.
Lehtonen stopped 32-of-34 shots for Atlanta.
The Thrashers are 16-14-3 as the host this year and are playing the first of
two straight at home tonight. Atlanta will also welcome Minnesota to Philips
Arena on Friday.
Carolina is 3-1-1 against the Thrashers this year, but Atlanta has taken six
of the last 10 meetings overall. The Hurricanes have won two straight, five of
six and seven of their previous 10 stops in Atlanta.
03/05 10:32:54 ET