Skip to main content

Atlanta Thrashers vs. Carolina Hurricanes @NHLdotcom
Thrashers-Hurricanes Preview

GAME: Atlanta Thrashers (27-33-7-3) at Carolina Hurricanes (22-30-13-4).

TIME: Friday, 7 p.m. EST.

Most of the remaining NHL regular-season games will have playoff implications. That won't be the case when the Atlanta Thrashers visit the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday.

Although Atlanta and Carolina have not yet been eliminated from playoff contention, each team would need a complete collapse by the New York Islanders and Buffalo in order to qualify.

Atlanta's slim playoff hopes took another hit Tuesday with a 2-0 loss to the revamped New York Rangers.

Pasi Nurminen stopped 23 of 24 shots in his franchise-record 12th straight start for the Thrashers, 0-1-1-1 after winning three straight.

"I don't know how hard it is (to overcome the Islanders), but I know how disappointing the loss is," Thrashers coach Bob Hartley said. "I believe we gave them a pretty easy night. When your best players are not your best players, it's tough to win."

It's not a coincidence that star forward Ilya Kovalchuk has no goals during Atlanta's three-game winless streak. Kovalchuk, the team leader in goals, assists and points, had three goals during the Thrashers' three-game win streak.

Carolina sits 13th in the Eastern Conference - three points behind 11th-place Atlanta. The Hurricanes will miss the playoffs for the second consecutive season after reaching the Stanley Cup finals in 2001-02.

In their first game since trading captain Ron Francis to Toronto, the Hurricanes allowed two goals on Tampa Bay's first two shots and wound up losing 4-2 to the NHL's top team Wednesday.

"I can't stand the results, they make me nauseous," Carolina coach Peter Laviolette said. "But I'm going to guess we made three mistakes all night, and all three ended up in our net."

Carolina has scored seven goals during a five-game home winless streak (0-3-1-1).

STANDINGS: Thrashers - 64 points, 3rd place, 29 PB, Southeast Division. Hurricanes - 61 points, 4th place, 32 PB, Southeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Thrashers - Kovalchuk, 36 goals, 37 assists and 73 points; Francis Lessard, 132 PIM. Hurricanes - Josef Vasicek, 16 goals and 35 points; Justin Williams, 24 assists; Jesse Boulerice, 113 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 10): Thrashers - Power play: 14.7 percent (51 for 348), 24th in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.2 percent (276 for 324), 6th. Hurricanes - Power play: 11.6 percent (37 for 320), 30th. Penalty killing: 82.1 percent (252 for 307), 24th.

GOALTENDERS: Thrashers - Nurminen (23-25-6, 2 SO, 2.78 GAA); Frederic Cassivi (no appearances). Hurricanes - Kevin Weekes (20-25-10, 6, 2.26); Arturs Irbe (2-1-1, 1.97).

SEASON SERIES: Hurricanes, 3-1.

LAST MEETING: March 5; Hurricanes 3-2, OT. At Atlanta, Kevyn Adams scored on a short-handed breakaway with one second left in overtime to lift Carolina.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Thrashers - 13-18-3-2 on the road; Hurricanes - 11-15-8-2 at home.

Associated Press
View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.