Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Carolina Hurricanes

GAME NOTES: Carolina Hurricanes at Atlanta Thrashers

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes

HURRICANES HOPE TO GET BOOST FROM CARTER

By Paul Branecky

Game Notes

Already buzzing from Glen Wesley's dramatic shorthanded overtime winner on Thursday night, the Hurricanes will get another big lift prior to facing off against the Atlanta Thrashers this weekend.

That lift comes in the form of right wing Anson Carter, who the Hurricanes acquired from the Columbus Blue Jackets Friday in exchange for a 5th round draft choice in 2008. Carter has 420 points in 664 games played over his career, which he has spent with nine different NHL teams, including the Hurricanes. He will be an unrestricted free agent after this season.

The Hurricanes will be hoping that Carter, who scored 33 goals in Vancouver last year and 10 with Columbus this season, can fill in some of the offensive void created when Erik Cole and Cory Stillman went down with injuries.

With only 19 games left in the regular season and the team in the thick of a tight playoff race, Head Coach Peter Laviolette is glad the help is coming sooner rather than later.

"When you can add a person who's scored 33 goals as recently as last year, it's a boost to your lineup," he said. "He's got the tools to help deliver more punch to the offense. I think we've been lacking that a little bit - just that attitude about the way we play the game with the puck, I think he can help instill some of that."

Making the trade sweeter for Carolina is the fact that the Hurricanes did not have to give up any players of their own. As non-playoff bound Columbus looks to shed salary, a mid-round draft choice proved enough to secure his services.

Considering the reportedly high asking prices for other "rental" players who are on the last year of their contracts, like Bill Guerin and Keith Tkachuk of the St. Louis Blues, The Hurricanes appear to have made a bargain in acquiring Carter.

"It's nice that we didn't give up any personnel from our team and were able to pick up a real good player in Anson, who has scored quite a few goals over his career," said Hurricanes center Eric Staal. "It's a good boost for our team and hopefully it results in a good streak coming up."

Although Carter's numbers in Columbus this year are down compared to when he played on a line with talented Swedish twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin in Vancouver, Laviolette feels that there is enough talent on the Carolina squad to bring out the best in Carter.

"He's going to get a good opportunity here playing with any combination of the likes of a Staal, a Brind'Amour or a Whitney," said Laviolette. "I think he's got some pretty good players he can play with and he'll get a chance to help this team get into the playoffs and then compete for a Stanley Cup."

With the crucial game in Atlanta Saturday night, the Hurricanes can use all the help they can get. Carolina currently trails their divisional rivals by three points and will be eager to avenge the heartbreaking loss they suffered on Tuesday in Raleigh. Despite dominating large portions of the game, the Hurricanes were ultimately undone by two late Atlanta goals that night.

Knowing they have a player of Carter's caliber at their disposal will go a long way to helping the Hurricanes get their revenge, said Staal.

"I think it gives us a boost for sure, adding someone with that much offensive firepower," he said. "We know he can score goals, and hopefully he brings that to our team and fits in nice, and can give us a good boost down the stretch."

KEN PRESTON

Carolina Hurricanes vs. Atlanta Thrashers
Saturday, Feb. 24, 7 p.m. (ET)
Philips Arena * Atlanta, GA
Hurricanes: 31-25-7 (69 pts.) 3rd Southeast Division
Thrashers:
31-22-10 (72 pts.), 2nd Southeast Division

TOMORROW’S GAME
The Carolina Hurricanes hit the road for a Saturday evening meeting with Southeast Division rivals the Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena (7 p.m., FSN South HD, Hurricanes Radio Network). The Hurricanes gained a point on Atlanta in the division standings on Thursday as Carolina scored a 3-2 overtime win against Philadelphia and the Thrashers suffered a 5-4 overtime loss against Tampa Bay. The Hurricanes (69 points) trail Atlanta (72) by three points for second place in the Southeast Division heading into Saturday’s games.

Saturday’s game will mark the Hurricanes debut for veteran right wing Anson Carter whom Carolina acquired from Columbus on Friday. Carter will make his RBC Center debut as a member of the Hurricanes on Tuesday when Carolina faces Ottawa in the first game of a back-to-back, home-and-home set against the Senators.

MILESTONE WATCH

  • Defenseman Bret Hedican played his 300th game with the Hurricanes, Feb. 22 vs. Philadelphia
  • Defenseman Glen Wesley is two assists shy of 400 for his NHL career

CURRENT STREAKS

  • Captain Rod Brind’Amour has goals and points in three straight games (2/17-2/22: 4g, 0a)
  • Defenseman Bret Hedican has assists and points in two straight games (2/20-2/22: 0g, 2a)

Television: FSN South HD (Hurricanes LIVE begins at 6:30 p.m.; check local listings for channel lineup)

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 enter Saturday’s play with 69 points, three points behind Atlanta for second place in the Southeast Division. Carolina currently ranks eighth in the Eastern Conference standings, one point ahead of the NY Islanders, and just six points behind Pittsburgh who holds the fourth spot.

  • Left wing Ray Whitney has earned points in 16 of Carolina’s last 20 games, scoring 10 goals and earning 16 assists (26 points) dating back to Jan. 6. Whitney picked up multiple assists in four of those games, earning two helpers on Jan. 6 against the NY Islanders, Jan. 9 at Toronto and Feb. 8 at Boston, and three assists on Jan. 26 against Washington.

  • It is impossible to divide the 82-game NHL schedule into perfect thirds, but when looking at the first 27 games of the season, Carolina went 14-10-3. In the next 28 games (games 28-55), the Hurricanes posted a 12-12-4 record, and the team has started the final third of the season 5-3-0 (27 games; games 56-82).

  • While the Hurricanes have won just six games in their last 15 outings, the team has won five of its last eight games and earned points in 13 of its last 20 games, going 10-7-3 since Jan. 6, and earning 23 of a possible 40 points in that span.

  • This season, Carolina’s penalty kill has gone 245-for-289 (84.8%) in 59 games with Rod Brind’Amour in the lineup. It went 17-for-27 (63.0%) in the four games Brind’Amour missed in December.

CAROLINA AT HOME: 16-12-4
CAROLINA ON THE ROAD: 15-13-3
CAROLINA ON THE POWER PLAY: 56-of-346 (16.2%)
CAROLINA SHORTHANDED: 260-of-314 (82.8%)

INJURY REPORT

  • Winger Erik Cole, muscle tear, injured reserve, out 3-4 weeks, missed two games
  • Left wing Cory Stillman, knee, injured reserve, missed seven games

HURRICANES PRACTICE SCHEDULE

DECEMBER
Practice Type
Time
Location
Sat., Feb. 24
Pregame Skate
11:30 a.m.
Philips Arena, Atlanta
Sun., Feb. 25
Team Practice
12:00 p.m.
RecZone, Raleigh
Mon., Feb. 26
Team Practice
11:00 a.m.
RecZone, Raleigh
Tues., Feb. 27
Pregame Skate
10:30 a.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Wed., Feb. 28
Pregame Skate
11:30 a.m.
ScotiaBank Place, Ottawa
Thurs., Mar. 1
Team Practice
11:00 a.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Fri., Mar. 2
Pregame Skate
10:30 a.m.
RBC Center, Raleigh
Sat., Mar. 3
Team Practice
10:30 a.m.
RecZone, Raleigh
Sun., Mar. 4
None
-
-
Mon., Mar. 5
Off
-
-
Tues., Mar. 6
Off
-
-
Wed., Mar. 7
Team Practice
11:00 a.m.
RecZone, Raleigh
Thurs., Mar. 8
Team Practice
11:00 a.m.
RecZone, Raleigh
Fri., Mar. 9
Pregame Skate
11:30 a.m.
Verizon Center, Washington

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

AGAINST THE THRASHERS
Saturday marks the sixth of eight 2006-07 regular-season meetings between the Hurricanes and the Thrashers, and the second of two games this week between the Southeast Division rivals. 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. The Hurricanes scored a 5-2 win at Philips Arena on Nov. 1 before Atlanta took a 4-3 shootout win at the RBC Center on Jan. 13. The Thrashers scored a 3-1 win at the RBC Center on Tuesday in the teams’ most recent meeting.

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 25-8-5-1 all-time record against the Thrashers, including a 13-5-2 home mark and a 12-3-3-1 record at Philips Arena.

SCORING LEADERS AND GOALTENDERS

CAROLINA HURRICANES
ATLANTA THRASHERS
Skaters
GP
G
A
PTS
Whitney
63
26
44
70
Brind'Amour
59
20
47
67
Staal
63
25
33
58
Skaters
GP
G
A
PTS
Hossa
63
35
43
78
Kozlov
62
20
42
62
Kovalchuk
63
33
28
61
Goaltenders
GP
GAA
W-L
SV %
Ward
49
2.91
25-16-6
.899
Grahame
17
3.03
6-9-1
.895
Goaltenders
GP
GAA
W-L
SV %
Lehtonen
52
2.91
25-18-8
.908
Hedberg
17
3.27
6-4-2
.882
View More