Series (Game 4 of 6)

Series tied 3-3

Game 1: Friday, November 27th
Game 2: Saturday, January 16th
Game 3: Thursday, January 21st
Game 4: Sunday, March 7th
Game 5: Saturday, March 27th
Game 6: Monday, March 29th

Hurricanes 4

(27-31-7, 61 pts)

Jets 0

(28-26-10, 66 pts)

5:00 PM ET, March 7, 2010

Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia

1 2 3 T
CAR 1 1 24
WPG 0 0 00

M. Legace (Hurricanes - G): Saves: 27, Save Pct.: 1.000

J. Jokinen (Hurricanes - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

B. Sutter (Hurricanes - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Hurricanes-Thrashers Preview


Since their previous meeting a little more than six weeks ago, the Atlanta Thrashers and Carolina Hurricanes have undergone significant changes.

The Southeast Division rivals, however, remain surprising contenders for postseason berths.

After having streaks come to an end in their previous games, the Thrashers and Hurricanes will try to bounce back at the expense of each other Sunday at Philips Arena.

Atlanta traded away the player who is the franchise leader in practically every offensive category, Ilya Kovalchuk, on Feb. 4 in a five-player deal with New Jersey. However, the loss of Kovalchuk hasn't completely derailed the Thrashers' offense.

Atlanta (28-25-10) has averaged 3.5 goals since the trade, but couldn't outperform Tampa Bay in a 6-2 road loss Saturday night. Niclas Bergfors -- one player picked up in the Kovalchuk trade -- and Colby Armstrong scored.

Before that defeat, the Thrashers had earned a point in each of their previous six games (4-0-2) and climbed into eighth in the Eastern Conference.

The Hurricanes also made a flurry of deals since their 5-2 win in Atlanta on Jan. 21. Among the veterans they traded away were Matt Cullen, Joe Corvo and Aaron Ward, but Carolina held on to high-scoring Ray Whitney, who will become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

After Wednesday's trading deadline passed, the Hurricanes earned their season-high seventh straight win the next night, 4-1 over Ottawa. That streak was snapped Saturday with a 4-1 defeat in Florida to start a three-game trip.

Rookie Justin Peters suffered his first career loss following three straight wins. He has been backing up veteran Manny Legace while Cam Ward remains day-to-day with an ailing back that has caused him to miss eight consecutive games.

After giving up four goals in his first three career starts, Peters allowed two in a 1:11 span late in the first period.

"Giving up two goals early in the game was really a big test for me to mentally stay with it," Peters said. "I was able to stay strong and give the team a chance."

Legace has won his last four starts with a 1.99 goals-against average. He allowed a season high-tying five goals, though, in a 6-4 home loss to Atlanta on Nov. 27.

The Hurricanes are 14th in the East with 18 games remaining, but their deficit for earning a postseason berth is in the single digits -- a surprise given their dismal 5-17-5 start to this season. Carolina has helped its cause by winning 11 of 14 since Jan. 23, and three of its last four on the road.

Jussi Jokinen has aided that effort with 14 goals and nine assists in the last 18 games. During that span, he had three goals and two assists in the two games against Atlanta.

Eric Staal also has two of his nine career hat tricks in Atlanta, including one during the win in January.

Thrashers forward Rich Peverley has scored five times in the past four matchups, but has one goal in the last seven games.

Atlanta is attempting to claim a fourth straight home win for its longest run there since taking seven straight from March 2-18, 2007.