Atlanta
Thrashers
33-37-8-4
Carolina
Hurricanes
28-34-14-6

26 SOG
31 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
ATL
CAR
game recap

Atlanta Thrashers 5, Carolina Hurricanes 2 FINAL

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 2:28 AM

Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Randy Robitaille and Daniel Tjarnqvist helped the Atlanta Thrashers earn their first win of 2004.

Robitaille scored two power-play goals off assists from Ilya Kovalchuk to lift the Thrashers past the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2 on Sunday.

Tjarnqvist had a big third period, scoring a short-handed goal with Carolina on a five-on-three power play and making a key defensive play that preserved Atlanta's lead.

Zdenek Blatny added a second-period goal and Kovalchuk had an empty-net score for the Thrashers, who snapped a nine-game winless streak. Atlanta came in 0-5-1 in January and had not won since beating Tampa Bay 3-1 on Dec. 26.

"To us, it's the playoffs," Atlanta coach Bob Hartley said. "We can already say there's going to be a 10- or 11-team race for that final playoff spot. Two points is huge."

The Hurricanes beat the Thrashers 4-3 in Atlanta on Friday, but Atlanta avenged the loss by scoring 35 seconds into the game and going ahead to stay with two second-period goals. In addition, the Thrashers went 2-for-7 on the power play after going 3-for-36 in their last nine games.

"There's nothing real fancy about our game right now," Robitaille said. "We had to scratch and claw and get a victory anyway we can, and we did tonight."

Rookie Eric Staal had a short-handed goal, and Aaron Ward scored a power-play goal for Carolina.

With the teams tied at 1 after the first, Blatny scored an unassisted goal 2:29 into the second when he beat Kevin Weekes from between the circles. Danny Markov was whistled for a high-sticking penalty on the goal, giving Atlanta the man advantage.

The Thrashers took advantage. Kovalchuk missed the net with a shot from the left side, but Robitaille grabbed the puck as it bounced off the boards and beat Weekes from the right side at 4:34 for a 3-1 lead.

Ward's power-play goal in the second closed the gap to 3-2 entering the final period, setting the stage for Tjarnqvist.

On a Carolina power play, Jeff O'Neill fired a shot at Pasi Nurminen from the right side. The puck bounced off the goaltender and skidded toward the net, but Tjarnqvist stopped it with his stick just short of the line.

Then, with the Hurricanes on a two-man advantage, Tjarnqvist got his stick between a pass from Sean Hill to O'Neill, knocking the puck toward the Carolina zone. He chased it down and beat Weekes from the left side at 7:39 of the period.

"It feels really good because most of the time, it goes the other way," Tjarnqvist said.

It was a momentum-killer for the Hurricanes, who lost three of four games against division rivals in the last nine days.

"That's unexplainable, giving up a five-on-three goal," O'Neill said. "Stupid things happen. It seems to always happen at a crucial time for us, or mental errors are just killing us."

scoring summary
1st Period
00:35
ATL
PPG - Randy Robitaille (7) Tip-in - ASST: Ilya Kovalchuk (27)
1 - 0 ATL
01:56
CAR
SHG - Eric Staal (9) Snap shot - ASST: Erik Cole (14)
1 - 1 Tie
2nd Period
02:29
ATL
Zdenek Blatny (2) Slapshot - ASST: Daniel Tjarnqvist (7)
2 - 1 ATL
04:34
ATL
PPG - Randy Robitaille (8) Snap shot - ASST: Ilya Kovalchuk (28), Yannick Tremblay (7)
3 - 1 ATL
08:06
CAR
PPG - Aaron Ward (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Josef Vasicek (10), Sean Hill (13)
3 - 2 ATL
3rd Period
07:39
ATL
SHG - Daniel Tjarnqvist (3) Snap shot - ASST: NONE
4 - 2 ATL
19:08
ATL
EN - Ilya Kovalchuk (25) Tip-in - ASST: NONE
5 - 2 ATL
penalty summary
1st Period
00:30
CAR
Pavel Brendl  Hi-sticking against  Frantisek Kaberle
00:30
CAR
Pavel Brendl  Hi-sticking against  Frantisek Kaberle
09:31
ATL
Francis Lessard  Roughing against  Bret Hedican
09:31
ATL
Francis Lessard  Tripping against  Pavel Brendl
09:31
CAR
Bret Hedican  Roughing against  Francis Lessard
2nd Period
02:29
CAR
Danny Markov  Hi-sticking against  Benjamin Simon
04:09
CAR
Erik Cole  Unsportsmanlike conduct
07:30
ATL
Francis Lessard  Hooking against  Danny Markov
12:16
CAR
Bret Hedican  Hi-sticking against  Ronald Petrovicky
17:20
CAR
Craig Adams  Interference - Obstruction against  Randy Robitaille
3rd Period
03:48
ATL
Garnet Exelby  Closing hand on puck
06:27
ATL
Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre  Delay of game
06:27
ATL
Garnet Exelby  Hooking - Obstruction against  Pavel Brendl
13:40
CAR
Rod Brind'Amour  Hi-sticking against  Daniel Corso
goalie stats
Pasi Nurminen
Pasi Nurminen
SA: 31TOI: 59:51
Saves: 29EV: 23 - 23
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 6
SV%: .935SH: 1 - 2
Kevin Weekes
Kevin Weekes
SA: 25TOI: 58:29
Saves: 21EV: 14 - 15
PIM: 0PP: 7 - 9
SV%: .840SH: 0 - 1