for this game

Hedberg, Thrashers blank Hurricanes

Nov 17, 2007 - 4:59 AM
RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Johan Hedberg did his part to cool off one of the NHL's best offenses.

Hedberg made 31 saves to register his first shutout in over three years and Marian Hossa scored two goals and set up another as the Atlanta Thrashers posted a 3-0 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday in a battle of Southeast Division foes.

Todd White recorded two assists and Ilya Kovalchuk added an empty-net tally for the Thrashers, who have gone 9-4-0 since general manager Don Waddell took over the coaching duties on October 17.

Entering the contest with a league-high 69 goals, the division-leading Hurricanes could not find a way to get one past Hedberg.

Hedberg credited Atlanta's defense for the shutout.

"It was a great team effort," Hedberg said. "We bought into the team system and did the little things that we needed to do to play good defense. That was the key for us."

The Swedish goaltender turned aside 12 shots in the first period, 10 in the second and nine in the third en route to his 11th career shutout. It was his first blanking since March 6, 2004 against the Columbus Blue Jackets as a member of the Vancouver Canucks.

"I don't keep track, but I know it's been a while," Hedberg said of his shutout drought.

"He was on top of it," Waddell said. "You could see right off the bat he was moving with confidence."

Hedberg has won each of his last four decisions.

Hossa gave the Thrashers an early 1-0 edge when he lifted the puck under the crossbar at 5:41 of the first period.

The Slovakian doubled Atlanta's lead with 5:01 left in the opening session. After a turnover, Hossa led a 2-on-1 rush with White and executed a perfect give-and-go before deking netminder Cam Ward and sliding the puck in on his backhand for his ninth goal of the season.

"Today, Whitey passed me two pucks and I found the net," Hossa said.

Hossa nearly registered a natural hat trick while shorthanded later in the period, when White hit him with an outlet pass for a breakaway. Hossa fired a snap shot, but Ward turned aside the puck with his left pad.

The 28-year-old Hossa's only other two-goal game this season also came against Carolina as he tallied twice in Saturday's 5-3 setback.

Kovalchuk capped the scoring with his league-leading 16th goal of the season with 59 seconds left, firing the puck into an empty net from the neutral zone.

Kovalchuk downplayed the importance of his goal putting him atop the leaderboard.

"So what?" said the former Maurice Richard Trophy winner, who also had an assist. "The most important thing is that we got two points. That is our goal. We're close to a playoff (spot) and we need to win games."

Both teams failed to get on the scoresheet in the second period.

Carolina's best scoring chance in the session was spoiled by a great poke-check by defenseman Garnet Exelby. With Eric Staal on a breakaway, Exelby was able to swipe away the puck from behind before Staal could get off a shot.

It was Exelby's first game back in the lineup from an ankle injury that forced him to miss two contests.

Captain Rod Brind'Amour believed Friday's game was too much like the one on Wednesday, when the Hurricanes suffered a 6-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lighting.

"This game kind of mirrors the last one," Brind'Amour said. "We had a couple real good chances but didn't score. The same thing happened the other night."

After giving up early goals, the Hurricanes found themselves playing from behind.

"We just didn't get much going," Brind'Amour said.

"It's frustrating," Carolina defenseman Mike Commodore added. "You get down 2-0 against Atlanta or any team and it's tough to come back. Whenever we had an opportunity, they either blocked the shot or the goalie made a save."

Carolina coach Peter Laviolette disagreed with his captain's assessment of the last two contests.

"We were out of the last game after the second period," Laviolette said. "I think the one thing that stands out offensively is that we didn't get to the prime area enough."

Hedberg's performance overshadowed a solid one by Ward, who stopped 22 shots for the Hurricanes.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 2 0 1 3
    CAROLINA 0 0 0 0 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - MARIAN HOSSA 8 (TODD WHITE, ILYA KOVALCHUK) 5:41
    ATL - MARIAN HOSSA 9 (TODD WHITE) 14:59
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: ATL - (EN) ILYA KOVALCHUK 16 (MARIAN HOSSA) 19:01
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: ATL - 0 OF 4, CAR - 0 OF

    Nov 16 9:25 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 3
    CAROLINA 0
    3RD PRD: ATL - (EN) ILYA KOVALCHUK 16 (MARIAN HOSSA) 19:01

    Thrashers vs. HurricanesNov 16 9:24 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 2 0 2
    CAROLINA 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - MARIAN HOSSA 8 (TODD WHITE, ILYA KOVALCHUK) 5:41
    ATL - MARIAN HOSSA 9 (TODD WHITE) 14:59
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATL 8 8 16
    CAR

    Nov 16 8:34 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 2 2
    CAROLINA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: ATL - MARIAN HOSSA 8 (TODD WHITE, ILYA KOVALCHUK) 5:41
    ATL - MARIAN HOSSA 9 (TODD WHITE) 14:59
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATL 8 8
    CAR 2

    Nov 16 7:44 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 2
    CAROLINA 0
    1ST PRD: ATL - MARIAN HOSSA 9 (TODD WHITE) 14:59

    Thrashers vs. HurricanesNov 16 7:37 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    CAROLINA 0
    1ST PRD: ATL - MARIAN HOSSA 8 (TODD WHITE, ILYA KOVALCHUK) 5:41

    Thrashers vs. HurricanesNov 16 7:19 PM