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Friday, March 28th (All times eastern)

Atlanta Thrashers (32-38-8) at Carolina Hurricanes (41-30-6), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Carolina Hurricanes will try to extend their lead in the Southeast Division tonight when they welcome the Atlanta Thrashers to the RBC Center.

The Hurricanes have 88 points on the year and are just two points ahead of Washington for first in the Southeast and the third seed in the Eastern Conference. Carolina has a game in hand over the idle Capitals, but will use that tonight.

The Caps and Hurricanes have one regular-season meeting left on April 1 in Washington.

Carolina failed in a chance to increase its division lead the last time out, as the Capitals notched a shootout win Tuesday in Raleigh. Viktor Kozlov scored the only goal in the shootout, as Washington defeated the Hurricanes, 3-2.

After two scoreless rounds, Carolina's Eric Staal had Cristobal Huet beat on the glove side, but his shot caromed off the crossbar. Kozlov then walked in on Cam Ward and fired a shot over the glove to secure the win for Washington.

Jeff Hamilton and Erik Cole lit the lamp for the Hurricanes, who had a three- game winning streak halted. Ward, making his 15th consecutive start, finished the game with 42 saves.

The Hurricanes have a 22-12-4 mark as the host this year and have won four of their last five on home ice. After tonight, Carolina will play its next two games on the road before closing out the regular season on a two-game homestand.

Meanwhile, Atlanta halted a five-game losing streak its last time out as it notched a 3-2 road win over Florida on Thursday behind a pair of goals by Bobby Holik.

Mark Recchi also tallied for the Thrashers, who got 42 saves in a spectacular outing from goaltender Kari Lehtonen.

Atlanta has already been eliminated from postseason contention.

The Thrashers are just 14-20-5 as the visiting club this year and had lost 10 straight on the road before Thursday's win.

Carolina is 5-1-1 against the Thrashers this year and has taken the last four meetings in the season series. Overall, the Hurricanes have won six of 10 against Atlanta, but the Thrashers have come out on top in seven of their previous 11 stops in Raleigh.

03/28 10:42:32 ET


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