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GAME NOTES: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Atlanta Thrashers

Friday, 01.12.2007 / 4:58 PM / News
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GAME NOTES: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Atlanta Thrashers

HURRICANES TAKE ON ATLANTA WITH DIVISON LEAD IN SIGHT

Going into Saturday night's game, the Hurricanes seem to have the Atlanta Thrashers right where they want them.

The hot-again Hurricanes have a pair of three game winning streaks they will hope to build on. First, they have won three straight overall and are fresh off a dominating six-goal third period performance on Thursday. Second, they have won three straight against Atlanta, whom the Hurricanes have been chasing in the standings all year.

Add to that the fact that the Thrashers have lost four in a row and will be playing for the second consecutive night while the Hurricanes rest at home, and the opportunity is certainly there for the taking.

That's pretty good timing for one of the most important games of the season.

"It's going to be two big points, especially when they're a divisional opponent," said Hurricanes goaltender Cam Ward. "It's a chance to kind of separate us a little bit and we've got to take advantage."

Depending on how the Thrashers' game Friday night in New Jersey plays out, the Hurricanes could find themselves down by four points to Atlanta in the Southeast Division going into Saturday night. If they win, the lead will be down to only two. Division winners in the NHL are guaranteed a top-three seed in the playoffs.

"It's the biggest game of the year," said Hurricanes left wing Cory Stillman, who had one of those six third period goals on Thursday night.

Carolina will hope to build on the rush of momentum they found in the third period of their last game. Trailing 3-0 after two periods, the Hurricanes exploded for five goals in the first nine minutes of the third en route to an unlikely 6-4 triumph.

Sparking that run was fourth-line winger Chad LaRose, who scored his second goal of the season and only the third of his career 1:40 into the third period. His goal, which deflected off of a number of things on its way into the net, was the catalyst for the Hurricanes' big comeback.

"It was nice to be rewarded with a cheesy one like that, but we'll take it," said LaRose of his not-exactly-highlight-reel goal. "They're all line drives on the scoreboard, right?"

Stillman agreed that the first goal turned the tide.

"We got a break on Chad LaRose's goal," he said. "You could see the ice tilt right then. Once he got one and then [Erik Cole] scored, I think you could see the confidence on our team build. We knew that we were going to tie the game, and personally, I feel that we knew we were going to win. It was a matter of time."

Although the Hurricanes almost always play their best hockey in the third period, they know they're playing with fire by putting themselves in a hole early in games.

"As frustrating as the first two periods are, there's something to be said for scoring six goals in the third period, fighting back and getting two points," said Head Coach Peter Laviolette. "But you don't want to do that, you don't want to take those chances. Six goals on 13 shots and 10 scoring chances doesn't usually happen. You can't count on that, you can't bank on that, you need to invest in the full 60 minutes."

If the Hurricanes can play for 60 minutes on Saturday like they did in the final 20 of their last game, the Atlanta might not be leading the division for much longer.

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Atlanta Thrashers
Saturday, Jan. 13, 7 p.m. (ET)
RBC Center * Raleigh, NC
Hurricanes: 24-18-4 (52 pts.) 2nd Southeast Division
Thrashers:
24-13-8 (56 pts.), 1st Southeast Division

TOMORROW’S GAME
The Carolina Hurricanes wrap up a two-game home stand on Saturday against the Southeast Division-leading Atlanta Thrashers (7 p.m., Hurricanes Radio Network). Carolina carries a three-game winning streak into Saturday’s game, having scored wins against the New York Islanders on Jan. 6 (4-2), at the Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 9 (4-1) and against the Florida Panthers on Jan. 11 (6-4). The Hurricanes will next travel to South Florida for a Tuesday night meeting against the Panthers at BankAtlantic Center.

Broadcast Note: The Thrashers’ SportSouth telecast of Saturday’s game will be available via the NHL’s CenterIce package, which is having a free preview for digital cable and satellite subscribers this week. As always, fans can tune into the Hurricanes Radio Network broadcast featuring Hall of Fame broadcaster Chuck Kaiton. The Hurricanes will return to FSN South with a high-definition telecast of Tuesday’s game at Florida.

MILESTONE WATCH

  • Captain Rod Brind'Amour earned his 200th Hurricanes assist, Jan. 9 at Toronto
  • Left wing Ray Whitney earned his 400th NHL assist with his second assist, Jan. 9 at Toronto
  • Defenseman David Tanabe earned his 100th NHL assist with his second assist, Jan. 9 at Toronto
  • Center Eric Belanger is two assists shy of 100 for his NHL career

CURRENT STREAKS

  • Goaltender Cam Ward has started each of the Hurricanes last seven games (12/29-1/11)
  • Left wing Ray Whitney has points in three straight games (1/6-1/11: 1g, 4a)
  • Captain Rod Brind’Amour has assists and points in three straight games (1/6-1/11: 0g, 5a)
  • Right wing Scott Walker has points in three straight games (1/6-1/11: 2g, 2a) and goals in two straight games (1/9-1/11: 2g, 1a)
  • Left wing Cory Stillman has points in three straight games (1/6-1/11: 1g, 4a)
  • Center Eric Belanger has points in two straight games (1/9-1/11: 1g, 2a)
  • Right wing Chad LaRose has assists and points in two straight games (1/9-1/11: 1g, 2a)

Television: No Carolina telecast (SportSouth's Thrashers telecast available via CenterIce free preview)
Radio: Hurricanes Radio Network – WWMY 102.9 FM (Raleigh – flagship), Pirate Radio – WGHB 1250 AM and WDLX 930 AM (Greenville, NC… check listings for games), News Talk Radio WFNC 640 AM (Fayetteville, NC… Saturdays and Sundays)
Internet: www.nhl.com, www.CarolinaHurricanes.com

CAROLINA NOTES

  • The Hurricanes’ are in the midst of seven straight games are against Southeast Division opponents, with five of those games taking place at the RBC Center. Carolina currently posts a 11-3-0 record against Southeast Division foes after going 18-11-3 against the division in 2005-06. The Hurricanes began this stretch of seven straight divisional games with a 6-4 win against Florida on Jan. 11.
  • Atlanta has scored four regulation wins in 18 all-time visits to the RBC Center, with the most recent coming on Nov. 27, 2005. Overall, the Thrashers have defeated the Hurricanes in regulation just seven times since joining the league for the 1999-00 season.
  • Rod Brind’Amour leads all Hurricanes in career scoring against Atlanta, with 41 points (11g, 30a) in 35 career games against the Thrashers. Brind’Amour (1g, 8a) and Justin Williams (4g, 5a) led the Hurricanes in the eight-game season series against Atlanta last year as each posted nine points.
  • The Hurricanes’ power play is 18-for-81 (22.2%) with left wing Cory Stillman in the lineup, and 26-for-187 (13.9%) without him.
  • This season, Carolina’s penalty kill has gone 188-for-216 (87.0%) in 42 games with Rod Brind’Amour in the lineup and went 17-for-27 (63.0%) in the four games Brind’Amour missed in December.

ONE WILD NIGHT
Jan. 11, 2007
Hurricanes 6, Florida 4

The Carolina Hurricanes scored six third-period goals to tie the franchise record for goals scored in the third period (Dec. 27, 1981) and to bounce back from a 3-0 deficit and take two points from division rival Florida at the RBC Center. Chad LaRose opened the third-period onslaught 1:40 into the period when his shot was partially blocked by a Panthers defender, but managed to find the net behind Florida netminder Alex Auld. With the floodgates then opened, Erik Cole, Scott Walker, Cory Stillman and Craig Adams eached scored in the next 8:22 to give the Hurricanes a 5-3 lead. Olli Jokinen scored his second of the game with 56 seconds remaining before Ray Whitney sealed the deal with an empty-net goal at 19:47 to give Carolina a 6-4 win. Cam Ward started the game for Carolina, and allowed just three goals despite the Hurricanes being out shot 31-14 in the game’s first two periods. Ward was replaced by John Grahame who made six saves on seven shots in the third period to earn the win.

RECORD BOOK NOTEABLES:

RECORD PREVIOUS RECORD JAN. 11, 2007 RESULT
Fastest Five Goals (franchise history) 7:32 (Oct. 25, 1983, third period) 8:22 (50 seconds shy of franchise record)
Most Goals in a Period (franchise history) 7 (twice, most recent: Oct. 19, 1985, first period) 6 (third period) (one shy of franchise record)
Most Goals in a Third Period (franchise history) 6 (Dec. 27, 1981) 6 (tied franchise record)
Most Goals in a period (Carolina history ’97-’07) 5 (twice, most recent: March 4, 2006, first per) 6 (third period) (new Carolina record)
Last three-goal comeback to win (reg. season) Nov. 5, 1998 (trailed 3-0, won 6-3 at NYI) Trailed 3-0, won 6-4

CAROLINA AT HOME: 13-7-1
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 11-11-3
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 44-of-268 (16.4%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 205-of-243 (84.4%)

INJURY REPORT

  • Defenseman Glen Wesley, lower body, day-to-day, missed 3 games
  • Defenseman Bret Hedican, illness/finger surgery, injured reserve, out 3-4 weeks, missed 5 games
  • Defenseman Tim Gleason, broken foot, injured reserve, out one month, missed 9 games
  • Defenseman Frantisek Kaberle, shoulder, out, missed 46 games

HURRICANES PRACTICE SCHEDULE

DECEMBER
Practice Type
Time
Location
Sat., Jan. 13
Pregame Skate
10:30 a.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Sun., Jan. 14
Team Practice
11:00 a.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Mon., Jan.15
Team Practice
11:00 a.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Tues., Jan. 16
Pregame Skate
11:30 a.m.
BankAtlantic Center, Florida
Wed., Jan. 17
Team Practice
12:00 p.m.
RecZone, Raleigh
Thurs., Jan. 18
Pregame Skate
10:30 a.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Fri., Jan. 19
Team Practice
11:00 a.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Sat., Jan. 20
Pregame Skate
TBD
RecZone, Raleigh
Jan. 21-24
Off (All-Star Break)
Thurs., Jan. 25
Team Practice
5:00 p.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Fri., Jan. 26
Pregame Skate
10:30 a.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Sat., Jan. 27
Pregame Skate
11:20 a.m.
Verizon Center, Washington

*All times are local… Times and locations subject to change

AGAINST THE THRASHERS

Saturday marks the fourth of eight 2006-07 regular-season meetings between the Hurricanes and the Thrashers, and the second of four meetings between the teams this season at the RBC Center. The Hurricanes took the teams’ first meeting at Atlanta on Oct. 13, a 4-3 regulation win on Ray Whitney’s last-second goal. Carolina and Atlanta went to overtime in their second meeting on Oct. 25 at the RBC Center before Hurricanes defenseman Anton Babchuk broke the 4-4 tie 1:11 into the extra frame. Most recently, the Hurricanes scored a 5-2 win at Philips Arena on Nov. 1 to run their season record against the Thrashers to 3-0-0.

Last season, the Hurricanes posted a 4-4-0 record in eight games against the Thrashers, scoring two wins at home and two on the road, including one in overtime. Justin Williams (4g, 5a) and Rod Brind’Amour (1g, 8a) led all Hurricanes scorers in the eight-game season series while Ilya Kovalchuk paced the Thrashers with 12 points (9g, 3a). The Hurricanes post a 24-7-4-1 all-time record against the Thrashers, including a 13-4-1 home mark and a 11-3-3-1 record at Philips Arena.

SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS

CAROLINA HURRICANES
ATLANTA THRASHERS
Skaters
GP
G
A
PTS
Brind'Amour
42
13
37
50
Whitney
46
17
32
49
Williams
46
21
20
41
Skaters
GP
G
A
PTS
Hossa
45
26
32
58
Kovalchuk
45
23
22
45
Kozlov
44
17
28
45
Goaltenders
GP
GAA
W-L
SV %
Ward
36
2.77
20-12-3
.903
Grahame
12
3.19
4-6-1
.895
Goaltenders
GP
GAA
W-L
SV %
Hedberg
14
3.17
5-3-1
.881
Lehtonen
23
2.83
19-10-7
.911

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 PIT 32 22 6 4 102 72 48
2 NYI 33 23 10 0 104 91 46
3 MTL 34 21 11 2 92 83 44
4 TBL 35 20 11 4 113 93 44
5 DET 33 17 8 8 93 82 42
6 TOR 33 19 11 3 114 98 41
7 WSH 32 16 10 6 95 85 38
8 NYR 30 16 10 4 92 81 36
9 FLA 31 14 9 8 69 79 36
10 BOS 33 16 14 3 82 85 35
11 OTT 33 14 13 6 89 92 34
12 CBJ 32 14 15 3 79 102 31
13 PHI 32 12 14 6 88 96 30
14 NJD 35 12 17 6 77 102 30
15 BUF 33 13 18 2 63 105 28
16 CAR 32 9 19 4 68 91 22

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 32 6 14 -12 20
E. Staal 27 7 11 -10 18
J. Skinner 28 8 8 -3 16
R. Nash 32 4 12 -3 16
E. Lindholm 32 8 7 -7 15
J. Tlusty 28 10 3 -11 13
N. Gerbe 28 3 10 -2 13
A. Sekera 30 1 11 -7 12
C. Terry 23 6 3 -1 9
V. Rask 32 4 5 -7 9
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 9 12 2 .911 2.44
A. Khudobin 0 7 2 .892 3.11