RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) _ Jeff O'Neill scored in his preseason debut, and Tyler Moss stopped 13 shots as the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Atlanta Thrashers 3-0 Saturday night.
O'Neill, who had a career-high 25 goals last season, had missed the team's first six exhibition games because of a neck strain. He scored on his first shot in the first period.
Meanwhile, Moss looked sharp in his third start despite not getting much work. He was signed as a free agent in the offseason and beat out Jean-Marc Pelletier as Arturs Irbe's backup, but had lost a pair of one-goal games in the preseason.
Bates Battaglia added an insurance goal with 15:06 left on a rink-length rush. His wrist shot on the power play beat Scott Fankhouser high on the short side. Marek Malik scored an empty-net goal with 1:02 remaining to complete the scoring.
Sandis Ozolinsh had two assists.
1st 2nd 3rd TOTAL
Atlanta 0 0 0 0
Carolina 1 0 2 3
First Period: Scoring: 1, Carolina, Oneill 1 (power play) (Ozolinsh, Tanabe), 17:14. Penalties: Skalde, Atl (Obstr tripping), 0:30; Snyder, Atl (tripping), 3:11; Vasiljevs, Atl (slashing), 7:02; Gelinas, Car (tripping), 8:57; Buzek, Atl (interference), 16:00; Malik, Car (roughing), 18:10.
Second Period: Scoring: None. Penalties: Ozolinsh, Car (hooking), 3:37; G Wesley, Car (roughing), 8:53; Audette, Atl (roughing), 8:53; Ferraro, Atl (roughing), 11:24.
Third Period: Scoring: 2, Carolina, Battaglia 3 (power play) (Ozolinsh, Moss), 4:52. 3, Carolina, Malik 1 (empty net) (Oneill, Francis), 18:58. Penalties: Clark, Atl (high sticking), 4:33; Clark, Atl (interference), 6:16; Oneill, Car (slashing), 16:20.
SHOTS ON GOAL
Atlanta 6 3 4 --13
Carolina 12 13 4 --29
Power-play Conversions: Atl - 0 of 4, Car - 2 of 7. Goalies: Atlanta, Fankhouser (28 shots, 26 saves; record: 0-1-0). Carolina, Moss (13, 13; record: 1-2-0). A: 9,891. Referees: Kowal, Maguire. Linesmen: Dapuzzo, Miller.
CAROLINA HURRICANES vs. ATLANTA THRASHERS
SEPTEMBER 30, 2000
CAROLINA HEAD COACH PAUL MAURICE:
On: Tyler Moss
“There were some decent chances. Not so much breakaways or point blank shots… it was more stuff thrown at the net that’s really hard to handle and he was real solid. I think the think we’re all more excited about was the way he was handling the puck tonight. He did a great job back there. He let us break the puck out fairly easily because he could make a really good outlet pass. We want our backup guy to be able to come in and push our team. That was a good start.”
On: Number of power-plays
“It’s good to get work on them. We have people out there that can do the job. They were a little tougher tonight. It’s the first time a team has reacted to what we have on the back end. They really took the two defensemen out of play.”
On: Power play goals
“Two years ago we really struggled. The big difference for us last year was that (Assistant Coach) Kevin McCarthy did a great job implementing a bit of a structure and because of that a guy like Sean Hill was able to play on the power play. Now we can continue to keep that structure but at the same time a lot of the creativity of the players has developed.”
ATLANTA THRASERS COACH CURT FRASER:
On the game:
“That was their lineup, that was their team. And that was an excellent test for us. We dressed a lot of young kids and they got a taste of what it’s like to play against Ron Francis, the best face off man in the league, Battaglia and these kids have a lot of speed and they had a solid defense. It was a game for our young kids to gain experience and our veterans who hadn’t played yet—Ferraro and Audette work on getting into better shape so they can prepare for the season.”
On playing back-to-back games:
“Most of the kids who played last night in New York played tremendous and they expended a lot of energy last night so we needed other guys tonight to step up and fill those holes. The guys who came in fresh tonight didn’t add a lot to the offensive department, for sure. In games like this it’s good to see, especially when you play against their best, you really see who can bring what to the table. It magnified things tonight. It gives us a good read on our defense, where we have to make decisions.”