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Atlanta
Thrashers
Carolina
Hurricanes
OT
37 SOG
37 SOG
1st2nd3rdOTT
ATL
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game recap

'Canes beat Thrashers 4-3 in OT

Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:06 AM

NHL.com

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'Canes beat Thrashers 4-3 in OT
Atlanta Thrashers 3, Carolina Hurricanes 4
The Carolina Hurricanes finally took advantage of an opportunity to grab eighth place in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

The 'Canes had missed two chances to pass the Atlanta Thrashers earlier in the week, losing to Boston and Toronto on the same nights Atlanta was beaten by the New York Islanders and Calgary. They wasted two third-period leads against the Thrashers on Saturday, but Erik Cole took the puck all the way down the ice and scored from the right circle at 2:48 of overtime, giving the Hurricanes a 4-3 win and moving them into the final playoff spot in the East.

Both teams have 58 points, but the Thrashers have played two more games.

The difference in the race right now is the head-to-head meetings between the teams. Carolina is 3-0-0, with all three wins after regulation. Cole also got the OT winner in the teams' last meeting on Jan. 9.

"I actually almost turned it over behind our net," Cole said of the winner. "I was able to get up some speed and got across the line and was trying to shoot it between the defenseman's legs and hope it was on net. Fortunately it went in."

Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward stopped 34 shots and Atlanta's Ondrej Pavelec made 33 saves.

Eric Staal, Brandon Sutter and Jiri Tlusty also scored for Carolina.

"Erik made a good, strong play all the way down the ice to score that," Maurice said. "We talked about this being a huge game and we won it, so we should enjoy that. We should build off it."

Niclas Bergfors, Brent Sopel and Zach Bogosian tallied for Atlanta. Bogosian's goal with 1:24 remaining in regulation and Pavelec on the bench for a sixth attacker gave the Thrashers a point -- but Cole's goal sent them home without a much-needed second point.

"Every time we play them now in here we should go to overtime, I guess," Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said. "Let Cole race down the ice and score. We just found a way to play a little bit safe, and when you play a little bit safe and allow a good player to come down the ice full speed it's a problem."

Tlusty put Carolina ahead 3-2 on a shot from the right circle at 12:42 of the third period, with Patrick Dwyer getting the assist. That goal was 28 seconds after the Thrashers tied it 2-2 on Sopel's unassisted shot from the right point.

Sutter put the Hurricanes ahead 2-1 on a rush at 8:37 of the third period, beating Pavelec over the stick side shoulder from the high slot. Joni Pitkanen had an assist for his 100th point with the franchise.

Atlanta grabbed a 1-0 lead on Bergfors' tip-in at 12:33 of the opening period. But Carolina dominated the second period, outshooting Atlanta 16-9 and tying the game when Staal fired in his own rebound from the right of the crease at 8:16.

"Both teams knew what this game meant in terms of the standings, and I think we were ready for it and so were they," Sutter said. "It was back and forth, but we managed to get the two points."

The 'Canes now head out for their last major road trip of the season - a four-game swing through New Jersey, Philadelphia, Tampa Bay and Atlanta. After that, they have nothing but single-game trips remaining on the schedule.

"We've got a real tough stretch of games coming up, and you don't want to be six or seven (points) out going into that stretch," Maurice said. "We want to hold water in this stretch and then make the big push toward the end."

Material from team media and wire services was used in this report

scoring summary
1st Period
12:33
ATL
Niclas Bergfors (11) Snap shot - ASST: Bryan Little (16), Johnny Oduya (13)
1 - 0 ATL
2nd Period
08:16
CAR
PPG - Eric Staal (26) Wrist shot - ASST: Tuomo Ruutu (29), Jeff Skinner (23)
1 - 1 Tie
3rd Period
08:37
CAR
Brandon Sutter (12) Snap shot - ASST: Jiri Tlusty (4), Joni Pitkanen (19)
2 - 1 CAR
12:14
ATL
Brent Sopel (2) Slapshot - ASST: NONE
2 - 2 Tie
12:42
CAR
Jiri Tlusty (4) Wrist shot - ASST: Patrick Dwyer (9), Ian White (12)
3 - 2 CAR
18:36
ATL
Zach Bogosian (4) Slapshot - ASST: Bryan Little (17), Rich Peverley (16)
3 - 3 Tie
OT Period
02:48
CAR
Erik Cole (14) Snap shot - ASST: Jamie McBain (15), Joni Pitkanen (20)
4 - 3 CAR
penalty summary
1st Period
04:02
CAR
Patrick Dwyer  Kneeing against  Evander Kane
06:10
ATL
Ondrej Pavelec  Delaying Game-Ill. play goalie
19:37
ATL
Bryan Little  Tripping against  Erik Cole
2nd Period
07:22
ATL
Johnny Oduya  Interference against  Erik Cole
09:35
CAR
Jiri Tlusty  Tripping against  Arturs Kulda
11:16
ATL
Evander Kane  Roughing against  Ian White
11:16
CAR
Ian White  Roughing against  Evander Kane
15:02
ATL
Patrice Cormier  Cross checking against  Ryan Carter
15:02
CAR
Ryan Carter  Roughing against  Patrice Cormier
18:20
ATL
Freddy Modin  Hooking against  Jeff Skinner
18:20
ATL
Patrice Cormier  Too many men/ice - bench
3rd Period
03:48
ATL
Arturs Kulda  Hooking against  Zach Boychuk
04:57
CAR
Joni Pitkanen  Interference against  Andrew Ladd
05:39
CAR
Erik Cole  Tripping against  Evander Kane
09:10
CAR
Joni Pitkanen  Hooking against  Chris Thorburn
15:07
CAR
Jiri Tlusty  Hi-sticking against  Anthony Stewart
OT Period
NONE
goalie stats
Ondrej Pavelec
SA: 37TOI: 62:28
Saves: 33EV: 27 - 30
PIM: 2PP: 5 - 6
SV%: .892SH: 1 - 1
Cam Ward
Cam Ward
23-17-5
SA: 37TOI: 62:48
Saves: 34EV: 25 - 28
PIM: 0PP: 8 - 8
SV%: .919SH: 1 - 1