Final OT

Series (Game 2 of 6)

Carolina leads 5-1

Game 1: Thursday, December 16th
Game 2: Sunday, January 9th
Game 3: Saturday, February 5th
Game 4: Sunday, February 13th
Game 5: Wednesday, March 9th
Game 6: Friday, April 8th

Jets 3

(22-16-7, 51 pts)

Hurricanes 4

(20-15-6, 46 pts)

1:30 PM ET, January 9, 2011

PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina

1 2 3 OT T
WPG 1 1 1 03
CAR 1 2 0 14

T. Ruutu (Hurricanes - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

E. Staal (Hurricanes - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

J. Corvo (Hurricanes - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

Thrashers-Hurricanes Preview


The Atlanta Thrashers have been better on the road than at home lately, and that's also been the case when they've faced the Carolina Hurricanes.

Coming off a home game which resulted in their worst loss of the season, the Thrashers hope to bounce back Sunday as they go for a fourth consecutive road victory over the Hurricanes.

Atlanta (22-16-6) has won nine of 13 at the RBC Center and has averaged 5.0 goals while winning the last three, including a 4-0 victory in its last visit to Carolina on March 27.

The Thrashers are 6-3-1 in their past 10 road games overall, winning the last two. However, they have lost five of seven at home and suffered a humiliating defeat there Friday night, 9-3 to Toronto.

Atlanta led 1-0 early in the first period on Tobias Enstrom's goal before letting the Maple Leafs score nine straight. It was the most goals the Thrashers have surrendered since falling 10-1 to Buffalo on Jan. 18, 2008, and the fourth time in franchise history they allowed nine or more.

"Sooner or later you're going to have a game that you just don't understand, and I hope they use it as a wakeup call," coach Craig Ramsay said. "We're pretty good when we compete, when all four lines play, when everybody competes together in support of each other. Then we're pretty good.

"We've got to understand that our work ethic has to be there every game. We cannot play when we feel like it and we cannot take a period off."

Ondrej Pavelec was pulled in the second period, the first time he's been sent to the bench early since Nov. 14. Chris Mason replaced him but was yanked later in the period.

"We were embarrassed, but there's another day," Pavelec said. "We gave it to them. We paid a price. Everything went wrong."

Pavelec stopped 19 of 24 shots as his three-game winning streak came to an end. His 4.03 goals-against average versus the Hurricanes is his second-worst against any opponent he's faced more than once.

Mason, who allowed four goals on 10 shots Friday, has a 1.39 GAA in five games versus Carolina (19-15-6).

The Hurricanes are averaging 3.83 goals during their current 4-0-2 stretch, defeating Florida 5-3 on Friday night.

Carolina trailed 2-0 before Jeff Skinner scored twice in the second period, then captain Eric Staal netted the go-ahead goal in the third and Erik Cole added a pair. The Hurricanes improved to 3-12-2 when behind after the opening period.

"We'd like to get off to a better start," Skinner said. "I think we play better when we're a bit angry. After those first two goals we got a little bit angry, and that sparked us to play a better game."

Staal, who extended his point streak to a season best-tying four games, has 13 goals and 16 assists in his previous 19 meetings with Atlanta. He had the tying goal in the third period of the only matchup this season as Carolina came from behind for a 3-2 shootout victory Dec. 16, its fourth win in five meetings.

Cam Ward made 45 saves in that victory and is 6-2-0 with a 2.23 GAA in his last eight starts versus the Thrashers. He had made seven straight starts before getting the night off Friday as Justin Peters made 32 saves.

While the Hurricanes could be missing Joni Pitkanen (upper body) and Jussi Jokinen (lower body) for a sixth straight game, Atlanta might be without Evander Kane (lower body) for a second consecutive game and Ben Eager will begin a four-game suspension for punching Toronto's Colby Armstrong on Friday.